December 11, 2000 – When Sourav Ganguly got suspended after winning the man of the match

December 11, 2000 – When Sourav Ganguly got suspended after winning the man of the match

Sourav Ganguly made three consecutive unsuccessful LBW appeals against the new batsman Mluleki Nkala.

 

Sourav Ganguly appeals for a wicket. (File Photo) (Source: Getty Images)

11th December 2000 turned out to be an equally memorable and forgettable day for the then Indian captain Sourav Ganguly as he faced a ban after leading the side to a victory by his own. The mixed day for Ganguly came when India turned up for the 4th ODI of the 5-match series against Zimbabwe in Kanpur coming in from a close one-wicket defeat in the high scoring 3rd ODI in Jodhpur. Many voices were raised against the ban received by the Indian skipper claiming it as an unfair one.

A 60-run opening stand gave a good start for the Zimbabwe side after they won the toss and elected to bat first. However, Ajit Agarkar dismissed both the openers to give India an opening in the game which was well utilized by Ganguly with his medium pace. He ran through the middle and lower order of Zimbabwe to bag a 5-wicket haul. Agarkar too chipped in with a couple of more wickets as the visiting side collapsed from 91/2 to 165/10.

Ganguly took India home with an unbeaten 68-ball 71 as they chased down the small target by end of the 25th over for the loss of Sachin Tendulkar’s wicket, with whom he shared a 157-run opening stand. This all-round effort gained him the man of the match and also became only the 8th player with a fifty and 5-fer in the same ODI and the 2nd player from India after Kris Srikkanth with this double.

The appeals that imposed a ban:

Ganguly made three consecutive LBW appeals against the new batsman Mluleki Nkala in the 37th over of Zimbabwe innings. He was supported by the wicketkeeper Vijay Dahiya in those appeals which were turned down by the umpire Chandu Sathe. With help of the inputs from the on-field umpires Sathe and Devender Sharma, the match referee Barry Jarman of Australia imposed a one-match ban on the Indian skipper after the completion of the game.

The match referee found Ganguly and Dahiya guilty of showing dissent and violating the ICC Code of Conduct. In addition to the one-match ban, Ganguly also received two-match suspended ban while Dahiya received one-match suspended ban which will be active until next year’s June 1st. However, none of the two players received financial penalties. Rahul Dravid led India in the final ODI of the series in which the home side cruised to take the series by 4-1 margin.

Bengal players in the support of their boy:

Following Ganguly’s ban, the Bengal state team players spoke in the support of the Indian skipper. Ashok Malhotra, who was a national selector at that time suggested Ganguly for continuing the aggressive brand of play which helps the team to play in the same way. “Cricket is no more a gentleman’s game. All the norms are not followed. Players these days tend to appeal aggressively. So Ganguly as the leader of the team has done just that. He wanted the team to play aggressive cricket. I would like him to continue in the same manner,” said Malhotra.

Former Indian opener Gopal Bose said it is unfair to single out Asian players for the punishment when the Australians, who are very much known for sledging often get away. “You will see for yourself that most of the time it is the cricketers from the Asian sub-continent who are singled out for punishment. The Australians lead the field as far as sledging and aggressive appealing are concerned. How many times are they pulled up?”