Cricketers across the world have come closer to each other in the last decade due to various T20 leagues, especially IPL. Country barriers have been broken and they share bonding which was unimaginable prior to IPL.
Enemies become friends and sometimes in the heat of the moment, friends become enemies also. IPL is called ‘Karmabhoomi’ of cricket and players take the field with an only single aim – to perform best of their abilities and help their teams to win the championship.
As a result of this competitiveness, players often don’t shy away from each other by having a word or two. And on occasions, these verbal arguments have become serious and umpires had to step in to calm the egos down. We will take a trip to some of the famous IPL fights over the years.
We are going back to the very first edition of the lucrative league where two absolute superstars of the game were captaining their respective sides. Tired bodies at the late 30s were not able to dampen their spirits and they were still giving everything they had for their teams. Now, in a tight chase for KKR, Sourav Ganguly played a lofted shot towards Graeme Smith who was fielding at deep mid-wicket region. He took the catch and Rajasthan players started celebrating but KKR captain stood his ground. He requested the umpire Pratap Singh to go upstairs and get that catch checked with the third umpire Asad Rauf, who couldn’t prove the catch due to limited camera angles and declared it as ‘not out’.
Shane Warne was fuming over Sourav Ganguly and both had a strong argument over the whole issue on the field. Eventually, Sourav Ganguly was dismissed in the next over and received a special send-off from Rajasthan players. Shane Warne expressed his disappointment in the post-match press conference saying that Sourav Ganguly should have trusted the words of an international captain. Both were fined 10 per cent of their match fees while umpire Pratap Singh was suspended for one match for going upstairs without any concrete reason.
This was probably one of the most talked-about fights in the history of the league. Details were like this: Mumbai Indians had lost the game against Kings XI Punjab at PCA Stadium in Mohali. Now when players were shaking hands with each other, S Sreesanth apparently took a dig at Harbhajan Singh about MI’s consecutive losses. His words didn’t go well with the Indian off-spinner and he slapped Sreesanth on the ground. Sreesanth couldn’t control his emotions afterwards and he was seen in tears during the live broadcast.
Although the whole incident was not captured on camera this was a serious matter as physical contact was involved. As a result, the IPL governing body was forced to name a committee to look into the issue. Harbhajan Singh faced a suspension while Sreesanth was given a warning.
Elite competitiveness backed by the enormous amount of monetary rewards usually causes the tempers to fray in any sports. When Mumbai Indians hosted Royal Challengers Bangalore at Wankhede Stadium during the 2014 season, one of the ugliest incidents took place. Batting first, Mumbai Indians were looking for a final push with the stroke-play of Kieron Pollard.
Mitch Starc bowled a bouncer to Pollard which he had to duck due to a superb execution by the bowler. After the ball, Mitch Starc gave a mouthful to Pollard before walking back towards his mark and that irritated Pollard, who in turn intentionally stepped away from the next delivery. Mitch Starc continued with the ball and released it towards the batsman. Volatility was its peak in the Mumbai humidity of May as Kieron Pollard tried to throw his bat towards Mitch Starc. Luckily, he pulled out from the throw in the end moments. Umpires took the control and Chris Gayle also got involved in order to settle the temperatures but Virat Kohli was seen arguing with Kieron Pollard even during the overs’ interval.
This incident took place between two celebrated players of team India when RCB were up against KKR at Chinnaswamy stadium in 2013 edition. Virat Kohli took Pradeep Sangwan on for two consecutive sixes and while going for the third one against L. Balaji, Virat Kohli got holed out. KKR players were delighted to see Virat Kohli walking back. But Virat said something to one of the players while going back to the pavilion that infuriated Gautam Gambhir, who came charging towards Virat Kohli to give something back with his mouth. The situation looked to be out of control before other players and umpires took the measures. This incident was even more surprising given that apart from India teammates, both used to play for the same domestic teams of Delhi & North Zone.
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