What’s the story?
Former Indian cricket team and Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) skipper MS Dhoni has admitted to a level 1 offense for breaching IPL’s code of conduct during the IPL game between the RPS and the Mumbai Indians at the MCA Stadium in Pune on the 6th of April, 2017.
The charges were leveled by the match referee, who is responsible for determining the quantum of punishment after Dhoni’s action was deemed to be contrary to the spirit of the game.
A media advisory issued by the BCCI read, “During the VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) match at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium yesterday evening, M.S. Dhoni from Rising Pune Supergiant was reprimanded by the Match Referee for breaching the IPL Code of Conduct. M.S. Dhoni admitted the Level 1 offence (Article 2.1.1) for conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game. For Level 1 breaches of the IPL Code of Conduct, the Match Referee’s decision is final and binding.”
The IPL is conducted by the BCCI and there is a code of conduct in place for players, team officials and umpires as well. The code of conduct is implemented by the BCCI as a means to ensure a smooth and fair operation of the league. The objective of the code of conduct is to provide –
(a) an effective means to deter any participant from conducting themselves improperly on and off the 'field-of-play' or in a manner that is contrary to the 'spirit of cricket'; and
(b) a robust disciplinary procedure pursuant to which all matters of improper conduct can be dealt with fairly, with certainty and in an expeditious manner.
Dhoni was guilty of breaching article 2.1.1 of the code of conduct and admitted to the same.
Article 2.1.1 reads, “2.1.1 Breach of the IPL Clothing Regulations, save for breaches relating to a ‘Commercial Logo’ or a ‘Player’s Bat Logo’ as those terms are defined therein.”
The primary objective of article 2.1.1 is to ensure appropriate and professional standards of appearance on the field of play and to prevent those practices that undermine that objective.
It’s further explained in the code of conduct as under –
The covering up/alteration of clothing and equipment with sticking plaster or marker pens, the wearing of batting pads painted with paint that subsequently fades or falls off and/or the use of prohibited logos
Parallels from history
In the last edition of the IPL, Kings XI Punjab superstars Shaun Marsh and Glenn Maxwell were found guilty of breaching the code of conduct as well. Maxwell was charged under article 2.1.2, which pertains to "abuse of cricket equipment or clothing, ground equipment or fixtures and fittings during a match" while Marsh got away with a warning.
No further details were divulged as to what exactly MS Dhoni was found guilty of. As is explained, it pertains to any action that undermines the professional appearance of a player or match official on the field of play.
If one had to take a shot at the dark, one might assume Dhoni’s pads (above picture) came under the scanner. They appeared to have suffered plenty of wear-and-tear before the batsman came out to the middle. This is just speculation, however, and we shall wait for official confirmation.
The good news for Rising Pune Supergiant fans is that the maximum punishment for the crime is just a fine on the match fees and will not result in any sort of ban.