5 Biggest altercations in IPL history
Is cricket still a gentleman’s game? This is one question that hampers so many interpretations of incidents, making something bad look way too ugly. The game’s unheralded transition and the unprecedented rise of the shortest format, powered by IPL, has made one thing clear that everything cannot be categorized under the “Spirit of the game”.
The Indian Premier League has seen a fair share of controversies in the last few seasons, which ignited the gentleman’s game prospect time and again. As much as the tournament bonded people together, it also lit up fire between some who already didn’t have a cordial relationship previously.
Here are five altercations that will remain infamous for a very long duration:
1. Kieron Pollard and Mitchell Starc
Perhaps the most violent and infamous altercation that ever happened in IPL history. Mitchell Starc and Kieron Pollard took centre stage during a Mumbai-Bangalore game at the Wankhede in 2014. Pollard has had a long history with Australian players and this was just another name added to a long list.
In the 17th over, when Starc came steaming in to throw the cherry, Pollard moved away from the crease, signaling that he wasn’t ready to face the delivery. A frustrated Starc continued his action and released the ball, which went inches away from striking Pollard. The West Indian threw his bat on Starc out of anger and the play was stopped for a good ten minutes to resolve the issue.
Pollard ran angrily towards the umpires to complain about the Australian’s actions and the RCB skipper got involved to have a word with both the players. RCB’s main man Chris Gayle calmed his fellow countryman, but Kohli remained unhappy with Pollard’s gesture.
2. Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli
An incident not many Indian cricket fans will forget. Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli have shared a pretty cordial relationship off the field, but things heated up between the players when Royal Challengers Bangalore took on Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2013 edition at the Chinnaswamy stadium.
Kohli had smashed Pradeep Sangwan for a couple of sixes and was dismissed while attempting for a third. An over-elated Gautam Gambhir gave a mouthful of expletives as Kohli was walking back. And expectedly, the current Indian skipper didn’t receive it very well. Things could’ve gotten physical between the two, if not for the other Knight Riders’ players’ intervention.
Both players played down the incident and admitted to a Level One offence (Article 2.1.4) for using language or a gesture that is obscene, offensive or insulting during the match.
3. Praveen Kumar and David Warner
In what turned out to be one of the finest games of the 2016 IPL season, the Sunrisers Hyderabad clinched a thrilling win courtesy a single-handed warrior knock from David Warner in the second qualifier. The Gujarat Lions had things under control for a fair amount of time, but the Warner storm was irresistible and they had to bow down to his brilliance.
Gujarat’s senior pacer Praveen Kumar and Warner had some heated exchanges throughout the second innings. But towards the end of the game when Warner hit the ball straight to the former, Praveen’s frustration grew. When Warner dared to throw the ball at him and the duo almost came face-to-face for a physical tussle.
Wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik had to intervene and drove Praveen Kumar away from the scene. The intimidating tactics from the bowler didn’t work as Warner kept his cool. And he also completed arguably one of the finest wins in Sunrisers’ history.
4. Sourav Ganguly and Shane Warne
Two of the game’s most decorated players, Sourav Ganguly and Shane Warne have left an irreplaceable legacy behind during their tenures. It was a pleasure for fans to see these legends lead two brilliant clubs in the inaugural IPL season. But when they both came up against each other, the scenes weren’t good.
Graeme Smith picked up a great catch to dismiss Sourav Ganguly. And the ball was questionably away from hitting the turf before falling in his fingers. The South African legend claimed that the catch was clean. But Ganguly disagreed and illegitimately asked the umpires for a replay.
Shane Warne was unpleased with the turn of events and vented his anger out in the press conference. “If an international captain like Graeme Smith caught it and said it was a clean catch and Rudi Koertzen said he caught it. And anyway, the players aren’t allowed to ask for the umpire. But Sourav asked the Indian umpire to go to the TV replay. That’s not in the spirit of the game so I was very, very disappointed with Sourav,” Warne said.
5. Shane Watson and Kieron Pollard
Shane Watson and Kieron Pollard are two of the finest all-rounders in IPL history. Both have done a tremendous job for their respective clubs in the last 10 years. It’s always exciting when these two players are up against each other. But in the 2013 season, things went a little overboard between the two.
Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians were taking on each other in a crucial game and Kieron Pollard gave Shane Watson a not-so-pleasant reception. The duo had a verbal spat for a few seconds before Watson walked up to the on-field umpire Asad Rauf. Pollard took the catch to dismiss Watson, which added more spice to the heated altercation.
The battle didn’t end there as Watson kept giving Pollard a mouthful from his dugout while the Caribbean lad was fielding at mid-on. Rahul Dravid had to intervene to ensure the scene didn’t escalate further and took the Australian into the dressing room.