IPL 2019: 3 Biggest controversies from the first week
While there's some outstanding cricket being played, there are some other reasons why the tournament is getting so much attention.
Updated - Apr 2, 2019 1:26 pm
The 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is off to a flying start, despite so many doubts surrounding its success with the World Cup looming around. With a lot of star players opting to stay out or leave midway through the tournament, this edition was expected to be one of the least exciting in the history.
As it turns out, the IPL, after all, is the King of the box office. The cash-rich league has been at the nucleus of the cricketing world and has been hogging all possible limelight. While there’s some outstanding cricket being played, there are some other reasons why the tournament is getting so much attention.
Controversies – The negative attention, everyone loves it don’t they? They say two people bond over by not talking good about themselves, but by talking bad about someone/something they mutually hate. There have been a plethora of errors and eye-catching dramatic moments which occurred in the first week of the tournament.
Here is a list of the three incidents which literally took made the fans go bonkers on social media:
3. Pitch quality in the opening encounter
Not the first time we have seen an Indian ground getting hammered on social media for planting a spinner-friendly track. But what we witnessed in the opening match of this season between Royal Challengers Bangalore and hosts Chennai Super Kings was ridiculous and shocking. The track was extremely dry and dead, making spinners lick their fingers.
It’s completely fine to have a pitch which assists spinners, but the way the track behaved gave batsmen no chance to compete. There was a stat displayed during the course of that game, which showed that the average turn a bowler grasps from a pitch in IPL history was 2.7 degrees per ball, while the turn available on that day at the Chepauk was 7.2 degrees per ball, almost 3 times more than the average.
The scorecards were symptomatic of these conditions. Royal Challengers registered their second-lowest total in IPL and got bowled out for 70. The hosts, despite having an unbelievable experience on their side, struggled to get past the winning line and it took them 18 overs to chase 71 runs. This was not the kind of cricket fans want to see and they made themselves very clear on the social media platforms.
2. No ball not given at the expense of RCB’s two points
7 runs to win, one delivery remaining! Shivam Dubey, who hit a six earlier in the over, was on strike with over 25,000 hearts in the stadium pumping like a motor. Lasith Malinga delivers an absolute peach of a full-length delivery, to which the 25-year-old Dubey could only muster one run. Mumbai Indians won the game by five runs and it was another setback for Virat Kohli‘s side.
But hang on! The drama wasn’t done yet. After the match was officially closed, when the ground staff were preparing to set the stage for the closing ceremony and the players kept shaking hands, replays on the big screen suggested Malinga had clearly overstepped off the final ball.
A shattered Virat Kohli demolished the umpires for not noticing that in the post-match interview and some reports also suggested he barged into the match referee’s room before using expletives against the officials. With so much technology at the doorstep, this was very much avoidable and shouldn’t have garnered so much attention.
1. Ashwin, Buttler and Mankading – Within the rules or against fair play?
Without a shadow of a doubt, this will probably end up as the biggest talking point of IPL 2019. It was the first time a batsman was dismissed via Mankading in the tournament’s 12-season history and there were many reasons which made this controversial. Rajasthan Royals were cruising in their run-chase against Punjab, before Buttler was dismissed this way and Punjab miraculously won the game.
While the whole fraternity was upset with Ashwin not displaying sportsmanship, in his defense, this mode of dismissal is completely fair and not against the rules. But replays suggested that the KXIP captain had paused intentionally during his delivery stride to bluff Buttler and set him up for the dismissal. It is completely fine for the dismissal to be spontaneous, but it definitely wasn’t.
The issue had spread all over social media like wildfire and even MCC had to react to it. After a diplomatic initial statement, they later went on to add upon further review that “Ashwin’s pause was against the spirit of the game”. Only the bowler knows if it was deliberate or not, but the ramifications of it have already been outrageous.