Jaipur, April 16 -- What would have irked most amongst the three incidents that happened in the first fortnight of the domestic Twenty20 league? Was it Rahul Dravid and Virat Kohli being fined for slow over rate, Sreesanth's Twitter rant against Harbhajan Singh on a five-year-old slapping incident, or the spat between Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli on the field?
In terms of seriousness, it is a safe guess that the majority would probably have it in this order - the Kohli-Gambhir altercation, Sreesanth's rant and then the fines on Dravid and Kohli.
However, in the Board's book, the severity of the offence seems to be in reverse order.
Kohli and Dravid were fined $25,000 and $20,000 respectively for their slow over rates - the tab is usually picked up by the team.
Sreesanth was warned for calling his former India team mate a 'backstabber'. And the two warring skippers were let off with a reprimand although there is a provision to impose fines for any breach of sportsmanship.
On the face of it, commerce and TV, as much as the spirit of the game, play important roles when it comes to action against slow over rates.
However, one would expect the Board to show alacrity in protecting the spirit of the game at all times.
It would, of course, be foolish to expect players to go about their business in a robotic fashion, without showing any emotion in the heat of the battle.
In the highly competitive and adrenalin-driven contest that modern sport is, sparks are bound to fly.
But while the players will do what they do, it's for the authorities not to handle the offenders with kid gloves, as has been the case with Kohli, Gambhir and Sreesanth, where the BCCI could have imposed fines as no one takes warnings and reprimands seriously.
Incidentally, Praveen Kumar was issued a show-cause notice by the Board and suspended for abusing a player on the field. But that incident happened in the low-profile Corporate Trophy.
Subsequently, the suspension on the UP player was lifted and he has been able to turn out for his franchise, Kings XI Punjab.
Come to think of it, the BCCI perhaps should impose a fine for every offence, for money makes the cricketers go is what the Board would want us to believe.
The BCCI technical committee has reportedly discussed introduction of financial incentives for teams to make greater effort to win matches in the Ranji Trophy.
That means the committee feels cricketers won't push enough for victory if they don't make more money for it.
Maybe, the prospect of losing some could make them behave too.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.