Some people are bigger than sport: Former ICC umpire raises concerns over Dhoni’s actions in IPL Qualifier 1 | Business Upturn

Some people are bigger than sport: Former ICC umpire raises concerns over Dhoni’s actions in IPL Qualifier 1

Former ICC umpire Daryl Harper has expressed his belief that Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni deliberately wasted time during the IPL Qualifier against the Gujarat Titans in order to allow Sri Lankan pacer Matheesha Pathirana to bowl. Pathirana had been off the field for eight minutes due to an injury, and according to IPL playing conditions, a player returning after such an absence must spend a similar duration on the field before being eligible to bowl.

In a crucial moment when the Gujarat Titans needed 71 runs for victory, Dhoni instructed Pathirana to bowl the 16th over. Following a conversation between Dhoni and the umpires, it was conveyed that Pathirana would not be allowed to bowl for eight minutes, equivalent to the time he had spent off the field. However, by the time the conversation ended, eight minutes had elapsed, and Pathirana eventually bowled his over.

Daryl Harper, based in Adelaide, expressed his disappointment with Dhoni’s actions, suggesting that the Chennai Super Kings captain intentionally wasted time to enable his preferred bowling option to deliver a crucial over. Harper criticized the lack of respect shown for the spirit of cricket and the directions of the umpires, emphasizing that there were other bowling options available to the captain, which were ignored.

Harper further remarked, “Maybe, some people are bigger than the law or, in this case, the spirit of cricket. It’s always disappointing to see the lengths that some people will go to in order to win.” This is not the first time Harper has expressed dissatisfaction with Dhoni. The former India captain had criticized the umpiring during the 2011 India vs. West Indies Test in Kingston, where Harper was one of the umpires. In response to Dhoni’s comments after the match, Harper wished he could attend post-match press conferences more often to set the record straight.

The incident in the IPL Qualifier reminded Harper of another time-related issue that occurred during the India vs. South Africa Test in Cape Town in January 2007. Harper recalled a situation where Sachin Tendulkar had been off the field for 18 minutes, and when India lost a wicket, Tendulkar was unable to bat in his designated position due to the remaining “penalty” time. Harper emphasized that stalling for time was not an option for captain Rahul Dravid, as it went against the standards of that era.

These instances highlight the importance of upholding the spirit of cricket and adhering to the rules and regulations set by the governing bodies. While strategic moves and tactical decisions are part of the game, it is essential to maintain the integrity and fairness that cricket embodies. As the IPL and international cricket continue, it is hoped that all players and teams will uphold the highest standards of sportsmanship and respect for the game.