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Rishabh Pant's decision to call back batters divides netizens

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By B. Shrikant

Mumbai, April 23 (IANS) Delhi Capitals skipper Rishabh Pant was on Friday night criticised on social media for apparently making a gesture to his batters Rovman Powell and Kuldeep Yadav to walk off the pitch because the umpires had refused to seek the opinion of the video official over what they claimed a waist-high no-ball bowled by Rajasthan Royals’ Obed McCoy in the final over of their IPL 2022 clash.

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The IPL 2022 match between Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals plunged into controversy on Friday night over a debatable waist-high no-ball that was ruled legal by the umpires but disputed by team from the National Capital.

Television pictures showed Delhi Capitals captain gesturing to Powell and Yadav to walk off the ground in protest, thus forfeiting the match. However better sense prevailed with Capitals’ assistant coach Shane Watson and some other players ensuring that Pant calmed down and that the batters stayed inside the ground.

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Chasing a huge target of 223 in 20 overs, Delhi Capitals needed 36 runs from six deliveries with two wickets in hand. Their West Indies hit-man Rovman Powell hammered the first two deliveries — poor full tosses — bowled by Obed McCoy for two sixes and meted out the same treatment to the third delivery, which his partner at the non-striker’s end felt was above the waist and thus a no-ball.

The umpire at the bowing end, Nitin Menon thought otherwise and allowed it as a legal entry, a decision that had the entire Delhi Capitals dugout howling in protest. Pant even sent Delhi Capitals coach Pravin Amre to walk into the ground to argue with the umpires and impress upon them the need to refer it to the third umpire, unmindful of the rules that do not allow such decisions to be reviewed by the third umpire.

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The on-field umpires were firm in their interpretation of the rules and did not rule it as a no-ball. The match went ahead and Powell could not hit any more sixes and Delhi Capitals ended up 15-run short.

Netizens reacted aggressively for both sides — Pant for standing up to his players while others seeking action from the BCCI against him.

“What happened today in #DCvsRR was a disgrace. #RishabhPant should be reprimanded for his behaviour. It’s not like they lost by 1 run and it was the final. Even then it’s unacceptable,” tweeted a fan.

Another person who goes by the handle Majid Za (@iammajidzz) tweeted: “Whatever happened wasn’t a good thing. However #umpiring was the worst too. These should be referred to 3rd umpire and confirmed with ball tracking. #RishabhPant anger is not (the) point.”

Another fan, Chandrakiran, @TheChandrakiran said. “#RishabhPant just overrated as always! Even the great Sachin Tendulkar used to walkout if he wasn’t really out due to umpiring, don’t ever think of making him #Indiacaptain.”

Later, Shane Watson said, “Delhi Capitals doesn’t stand for what happened in the end. We’ve to accept the umpires’ decision whether it is right or not. It is not good if someone (is) running out on the field.”

Similarly, former England captain, Kevin Pietersen, who is an expert commentator for the official broadcaster, said “Rishabh Pant calling batters back and coach entering the field to stop the play was unacceptable. I hope I never see this kind of a thing again.”

–IANS

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