Match number 34 of the Indian Premier League 2022 between Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals had lots of fireworks on and off the field. It was lit up first by Jos Buttler who scored his third hundred of the IPL in only his seventh match of the season and then the off-field drama created by Rishabh Pant for a no ball which was not called by the umpire.
With 36 runs required from the last over bowled by Obed McCoy, Romvell Powell hit the first two balls for two sixes and the pressure got to the bowler who bowled a waist height full toss third ball which was also dispatched over the fence by the dangerous Powell.
That’s where mayhem struck in the Delhi camp who were complaining as to why the no ball was not called and why was it not referred to the third umpire. Yes, it looked like a no ball to the naked eye and a frustrated Pant lost his head. He first wanted to call his players back and did not want to continue the game in anger. When that did not happen, he sent Pravin Amre, assistant coach, to run on the field to question the umpire’s call. And in doing so all the momentum which Romvell had was lost and most importantly the bowler McCoy who was under pressure could regain his composure and bowl the next three balls coolly and win the game for his team.
At the post match presentation too, Pant went on to say that the no ball could have been precious for them. The on field umpires could have checked with the third umpire for the no ball. Pant then said it was not in his control and he can’t change the rule. Yes, my dear Pant, you can’t change the rule by disrupting the game because a call went against you. You can’t call the players back or send the assistant coach on the ground to fight your case.
All that was under your control and could have been handled by lodging a complaint after the game. You are the captain of the team and probably a future captain of team India and are setting a bad example to the youngsters and the people watching the gentlemen’s game. You totally lost it.
The BCCI has imposed a hefty fine on Pant for disrupting the game but he should have been banned for at least one game to send out a clear message that no player is bigger than the game. Just by giving a penalty won’t work which will be paid by the franchise owners and the player will be let off the hook. This was not a club match nor a Ranji Trophy game where one can show dissent and get away with it.
Even in a football match a red card is given for dissent and the player is not allowed to play in the next game.
Cricket is a gentleman’s game but I am afraid Pant let the game down with his immature actions. He not only lost the game on the field but sadly he lost it off the field too.