The game of cricket in India is no less than a religion and thus the esteemed cricketers enjoy the near god-like status. However, the heroes can quickly turn into a villain for their indecent off and on-field antics.
Recently, the hero of Australia Test series Cheteshwar Pujara experienced the same during a first-class match in Bangalore. Playing for Saurashtra against Karnataka in the semi-final of Ranji Trophy 2018-19, Pujara received a welcome he wouldn't have imagined in his life. The Chinnaswamy crowd shouted "Cheater" when the right-hander walked into bat in Saurashtra’s second innings.
Here’s the video:
It is worth mentioning here that Pujara got a pleasant gift on his 31st birthday on Friday (January 25). India's eminent No. 3 was adjudged not out by the standing umpire in Saurashtra’s first innings even though he nicked one behind in the hands of wicket-keeper. Subsequently, the Karnataka players were left astounded and Pujara was criticized by many for not playing the game in the right spirit. Pujara, who made 45 in the first essay, was on 1 when that incident had occurred.
To add to the agony of Karnataka, a similar event took place in the second innings. When Pujara was on 29, the umpire made another error and he went on to score an unbeaten century.
Pujara is currently batting on 108* while Saurashtra is placed at 224/3 in pursuit of the 279-run target. If they manage to get over the line, Saurashtra will face defending champions Vidarbha in the summit clash from February 5.