Controversy erupted in match 34 of IPL 2022 when against Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Capitals Rishabh Pant lost his cool and asked his batters to walk off when the umpire did not declare a waist-high no-ball. Off the final over, DC required to knock off 36 runs, with Rovman Powell dispatching the first three balls over the ropes, with the third ball bowled by Obed McCoy being a high full-toss. Pant was not pleased as he felt that it should have been called a waist-high no-ball, and signalled Powell and his partner to come back. Assistant coach Shane Watson mediated the proceedings, while Pravin Amre walked onto the field to have a word with the umpire, triggering the first big controversy of this year’s IPL. (Also Read: Sometimes I mention things but Faf du Plessis says ‘no I don‘t want to do it’, says Virat Kohli)
As a result of his actions, Pant was penalised his entire match fee, while Amre was slapped with a one-match ban. Looking back at the incident, former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar called Pant a ‘kid’ and said that as captain, one should have enough maturity to ‘be the bigger man’
“I have had several disagreements during my playing career but I never misbehaved with umpires, officials or authorities. I’m saying this because there are times when you need to be the bigger guy. With Rishabh Pant, he is a kid, a youngster. My advice to him is that whenever such a scenario arises, always show grace. I felt that it was a childish mistake from Pant. He is a kid. He’s just become the captain, is passionate… there is no doubt about it. He is extremely talented. He his entire career ahead of him. Shane Watson was trying to save him from controversy,” Akhtar told SportsKeeda.
Akhtar highlighted Pant’s need to be more gracious through an example of Pakistan’s walkout during the 2006 Oval Test against England. On Day 4 of the Test match, the on-field umpires had awarded the England team five runs without mentioning to Pakistan or its captain Inzamam-Ul-Haq that the condition of the ball had been altered. Pakistan refused to take the field in the final session and they forfeited the game to England. Akhtar said that he wasn’t in favour of the decision even back then.
“It was a no-ball, I agree. Pant was right. But when the umpire declared it then you take down your protest. You can’t just call teams back like that. When in 2005 during the Oval Test, Inzamam took the entire team back and walked out, I was very unhappy. I told the chairman this is not the right thing to do. This is against the spirit of the game. Finish the game and do not forfeit,” Akhtar pointed out.
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