What’s the story?
Former India batsman Mohammad Kaif, who is presently leading Chattisgarh on the Indian domestic circuit, found himself in the centre of a controversy on Monday after he led his side out of the field, following an umpiring appeal that was turned down by the adjudicators in his side’s Vijay Hazare Trophy Group D encounter against Karnataka that was played at the Jadavpur University ground in Kolkata.
Defending a total of 200 runs, the Chattisgarh bowlers found the going tough as the Karnataka openers got their team off to a good start. Mayank Agarwal then edged one to the keeper off the bowling of Omkar Verma and the fielders rightly went up in unison in an appeal for a caught-behind.
The umpire at the striker’s end-Virender Sharma- then had a discussion with his colleague at square leg Umesh Dubey and then ruled the verdict in favour of the batsman.
Clearly unamused with the verdict, Kaif decided to have a word with the umpire’s decision and seeked the intervention of the Third Umpire and when his request was not sanctioned, he decided he had enough and marched away with the rest of his teammates away from the field.
In case you didn’t know...
The Vijay Hazare Trophy, India’s premier 50-over domestic competition is presently and the quarterfinal line-ups were decided earlier this week and are scheduled to start from the 13th of March.
The heart of the matter
The match referee on duty- Nitin Goel-intervened to calm down proceedings and within minutes the players were back on the field. At a hearing conducted after the conclusion of the match, he put the blame on Kaif for causing the incident. He was given a warning by him and also said he would have some amount of his match fees deducted.
In what proved to be a rivetting encounter, Karnataka scraped their way to a three-wicket win with the batsman in question during the incident- Agarwal- top-scoring with a 76-ball 66 and was well supported by skipper Manish Pandey who made 34.
It would be interesting if any more action is taken against Kaif for his involvement in the incident or if he is let go off with a fine. Regardless of whether any further action is taken or not, the incident did not shed any good light on Kaif as a cricketer and he will hope to stay away from any controversies in the future.
During many matches in the past, we have seen players being unhappy when the on-field umpire does not get a decision right and he shows his frustration at the adjudicator, understandably so.
However, to question an umpire’s decision by seeking the TV umpire to intervene is not the right way to go and hopefully, one does not see any such incident in the future.