Former India cricketers Chetan Chauhan and Karsan Ghavri were reminded of a yesteryear incident after watching Bangladesh captain Shakib arguing with the umpire over a no-ball and threatening to stage a walkout with his team.
The incident happened when umpire didn’t call a bouncer from Isuru Udana a no-ball, despite the Bangladeshi batsmen feeling that it was the second bouncer over the shoulder for the over. Shakib-Al-Hasan came and argued with the on strike umpire, signaling that the leg umpire had first showed a no-ball, but later retracted. He angrily asked Mahmudullah to walk off from the field, only to be stopped by Bangladesh team manager Khaled Mahmud.
Cooler heads prevailed and Mahmudullah hit a six to take Bangladesh into the finals of the Nidahas Tri-series 2018.
37 years ago, Chetan Chauhan and Karsan Ghavri witnessed a similar incident in MCG, as India played Australia. Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar was giving the Australians a tough time during the third Test of the series and was given leg before wicket off Dennis Lillee.
Gavaskar was confident that he was not out and argued with the umpire. “Gavaskar was batting like a champion. In the delivery he was given out, there was an edge. He came and asked me if it was indeed an out. I said, it wasn’t,” a nostalgic Chauhan tells Sportstar.
After minutes of argument, Gavaskar decided enough was enough and furiously asked Chauhan to walk off with him off the field.
“He told me that the Aussies are cheats, and asked if we should protest. I told him, 'You are the captain, you decide.’ and in no time, both of us were heading towards the dressing room. Gavaskar was extremely frustrated,” Chauhan reminisces.
However, team manager, Wing Commander Shahid Ali Khan Durrani, intervened and stopped Chauhan from crossing the boundary line.
“We had nearly two days of cricket left and we had already added some 160-run lead, so in my head, I did not want to walk out, but decided to slowly walk with the captain. Near the boundary rope, Mr Durrani and Dileep Vengsarkar — who was all padded up to come next —stopped us and told Gavaskar that we should go back and play. Ultimately, he cooled down,” Chauhan adds.
1981 Indian team member Karsan Ghavri claims that Gavaskar was ticked off more because of some cuss words from Lillee and Greg Chappell.
“Sunil did not get too many runs, so he was desperate to score a century. When the controversial decision was given, there was an eerie silence in the dressing room as none could figure out what was happening. I’m sure Lillee, Chappell and others must have abused Gavaskar badly, and that’s why he got angry,” Ghavri says, adding: “He was irritated firstly because of the umpiring decision and secondly, due to the abusive behaviour of the Aussies.”
“It all happens at the heat the moment. No one does it purposely. Once they go out, things cool off. It is simple — umpires are the best judge on the pitch, so once decision is given, go by it,” Ghavri says.
Chauhan says, “It is definitely frustrating as a cricketer, but you have to accept it, because otherwise you are liable to be fined. You are protesting against officials. Now you have a third umpire, you can ask for review. There’s not much room for error now.”
“It was even tough in our times. You were frustrated yet you could not show your annoyance,” the former cricketer said.