Former Australian umpire Daryl Harper has accused Chennai Super Kings (CSK) of not respecting the spirit of cricket while arguing with the umpires during the Qualifier 1 against the Gujarat Titans (GT) in Chennai on May 23, 2023.
CSK bowler Matheesha Pathirana had left the field for nine minutes, but Dhoni required him to bowl the 16th over.
According to cricket rules, every player who is off the pitch for more than eight minutes must return to the pitch for the same length of time before bowling.
However, Dhoni needed to bowl Pathirana just five minutes after the Sri Lankan bowler arrived, so he engaged in a four-minute discussion to pass the time. As a result, Pathirana was able to bowl the 16th over and complete his four-over quota.
Citing this blatant disrespect for the spirit of the game, Daryl Harper has slammed the CSK captain. He said that CSK captain wasted time on purpose to tick the clock so that Pathirana could bowl the full quota of his overs.
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"Of course MS Dhoni wasted time to allow his preferred bowling option to deliver the vital sixteenth over. That's the only conclusion that I can draw from that disappointing spectacle. The issue for me is the lack of respect shown for the Spirit of cricket and for the directions of the umpires. There were other options for the captain but they were ignored.
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," the Australian umpire told Mid-day.
Harper himself was famous for giving Sachin Tendulkar out ‘shoulder-before-the wicket’ in the Adelaide Test of the 1999 series down under after the then Indian captain ducked into a Glenn McGrath short ball, which didn’t bounce much and hit him on the shoulder in front of the stumps.
Harper gave Tendulkar out LBW for a duck much to the surprise of the batter and commentators and was later criticized by all quarters, but he backed his decision.