Bails, DRS, Tears & a Double-Decker Bus: Controversies of WC 2019
Rain that wouldn’t stop falling, bails that refused to fall, umpires that erred their share, a player left in tears after being dropped and a team that complained about “step-motherly” treatment by the ICC! The 2019 ICC World Cup has seen it’s fair share of controversies already and there’s still more than 2 weeks to go.
Now while India try to lock their place in the semis and England continue to defy the odds and underperform, here’s a look at some of the crazy controversies the tournament has seen so far.
1. No English ‘Summer’
The biggest talking-point of this World Cup so far. The rain disrupting what was supposed to be the perfect English ‘summer’ of cricket. Four matches and eight points in the first few weeks were split due to rain, including one of India’s fixtures, against New Zealand. Former skipper Sunil Gavaskar said he wanted the England Cricket Board (ECB) to be fined for not having provisions to cover the full outfield. There were a few hilarious memes doing the rounds as well, with one showing rain to have accounted for more points than any team had won at that point in the tournament.
CAB President Sourav Ganguly suggested the hosts take a lesson from the Eden Gardens and use the England-made outfield covers that the Kolkata stadium uses to cover the entire field, so play can resume within 10 minutes of rain stopping, since no part of the pitch or the outfield would need to be drained.
2. Sri Lankan Complaints
The one team that ‘suffered’ the most due to rain was Sri Lanka as two of their matches got washed out. Now if the points split with Pakistan and Bangladesh eventually works in their favour, will be known in 10 days time, the Lankan team didn't really believe it was the ‘Rain Gods’ who had been unfair to them.
Their manager filed an official complaint with the ICC for being given green pitches for their matches while they claimed other teams played on high-scoring surfaces at the same venues. There was also the matter of the double-decker bus Pakistan was given, and they weren’t. Or the swimming pool in Bangladesh’s team hotel that Sri Lanka didn't have.
What do Chris Gayle, David Warner, Quinton de Kock have in common?
They were blessed by the ‘Bail Gods’ this World Cup as they and a few others were given a lifeline while batting because the ‘zing bails’ on top of the stumps refuse to dislodge! And these deliveries, mind you, came with the pace of Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah and Mitchell Starc.
4. Umpires vs Chris Gayle
The 10th match of the tournament, between West Indies and Australia, saw a whole bunch of DRS calls. Gayle was given out twice within three balls and got the decision overturned after a review. Same with Jason Holder. In fact, even the delivery Gayle did get out on, replays later showed should have been Not Out because the previous ball was a no ball, missed by the umpires.
Michael Holding called the umpiring ‘atrocious’ on commentary and was pulled up by the ICC.
He, however, is continuing on.
5. Dhoni’s Logo
MS Dhoni and Chris Gayle were caught in a bit of trouble with the ICC regarding permissions for logos on their kit. Dhoni’s army insignia on his gloves was first branded as 'not an army symbol' by the BCCI's CoA but the ICC called the shots and got them removed.
Some news channels, of course, then wanted India to boycott the World Cup, only to be shut down by Sunny sir.
Chris Gayle’s logo was more personal in nature, a tribute to himself. He wanted a “universe boss” sticker on his bat! Which was... rejected.
6. Troubled Afghan Camp
The World Cup’s favourite pre-tournament underdogs, Afghanistan have been a little off-colour this time round despite the big scare they served India in a league game. And they’ve had their fare share of controversies within the camp. They switched captains before the World Cup and after being instigated enough by former selector Dawlat Ahmadzai, coach Phil Simmons tweeted and said he would reveal his part in the switch after the World Cup.
There was also the matter of Mohammad Shahzad, Afghanistan’s all-time leading-scorer being declared unfit and replaced after two matches following which he posted a video in tears claiming he wasn’t unfit.
And more – on the eve of the match against England, Manchester police had to be called to a restaurant at 11:15 pm to intervene after some players got into an altercation with fans who were taking pictures of them.
7. India-Pak Aftermath
How can an India-Pakistan match at a World Cup not end India’s way, and also, not end with some gross overreaction. This time though, it went past just cricket and players' night outs, and burger and ice cream purchases were being questioned.
Sania Mirza got dragged into it for dining with her husband before the match, but as always, she shut down the trolls with class.
And the rest? Well, they all saw logic as well, but not before one fan went too far calling Sarfaraz Ahmed a fat pig in front of his son at the mall. The skipper kept it classy and ignored the ‘fan’ and since then, has earned back respect with spectators carrying ‘Sorry Sarfaraz’ banners to matches.
(Hi there! We will be continuing our news service on WhatsApp. Meanwhile, stay tuned to our Telegram channel here.)