Chennai:, Feb. 18 -- There was an incident on the third and final day's play at the Guru Nanak College ground on Monday which wasn't pleasing to the eye. Australia's Peter Siddle flicked India 'A' left-arm spinner Rakesh Dhurv to the mid-wicket boundary, which was chased by Manpreet Gony from cover.
The ball touched the boundary rope but Gony chose to flick the ball back and relay it to the bowler.
Siddle, who may have thought that four runs were for the taking, took off for a non-existent third but was miles short as Dhurv removed the bails. The umpire referred the decision to match referee B Kalyanasundarm, who was also the third umpire.
But the call for him to take was whether the batsman had made the crease and not whether Gony had cleanly stopped the ball.
In the absence of manned, moving cameras, Kalyanasundarm couldn't be blamed for not checking on the most important thing. But why was Gony dishonest when asked by the field umpire? The spirit of the game was clearly breached by the fielder as he would have, quite obviously, known that ball had touched the rope.
However, Gony took advantage of the situation. With the game not being televised and recorded by only six still cameras, Gony knew he wouldn't be 'caught in the act', at least officially.
The Aussies, with no proximity to the incident, weren't aware of the incident.
This could have been avoided had the Board Control for Cricket in India shown more interest in matches other than international and the Indian Premier League. While there is no doubt that these matches fill the BCCI coffers, the cash-rich board can afford to spend on telecasting matches involving a foreign team and second-string India team. But they have chosen not to do so, despite interest from the official broadcaster to televise it.
In the end, the incident did not impact the outcome of the warm-up game, but it did show BCCI's apathy.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.