From Suresh Raina’s pull-out to short-run mess: The controversies of IPL 2020

Even before IPL 2020 started in mid-September, controversies hogged the limelight when Suresh Raina returned home from the CSK camp in the UAE citing personal reasons.

The IPL 2020 is nearing its end now with only the final between Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals left to be played on Tuesday. Apart from the entertainment and the spellbinding performances, the tournament popped up with certain controversies too.

1. Raina’s return to India

Just before the beginning of IPL 2020, Suresh Raina who was toiling hard to be part of Chennai Super Kings’ squad ahead of the season, came back to India. His return from UAE led to a lot of speculations about whether something was wrong within the CSK camp. Though the team management and Raina himself cited personal reasons behind the move, the rumours about Raina throwing a fit for not being given a hotel room with a balcony didn’t wither away. Soon after, Raina condemned the controversy by confirming that he returned because of his family.

2. Anushka Sharma slammed Little Master

In the match between KXIP and RCB, Sunil Gavaskar while on-air, commented on the unpreparedness of Virat Kohli during the lockdown. Referring to a viral video of Anushka Sharma bowling to Kohli in the building compound, Gavaskar said, “Kohli faced only Anushka’s bowling during the lockdown.” After this comment, Anushka took to social media and slammed Gavaskar for his displeasing remark. Afterwards, Gavaskar clarified that his comment was interpreted in a wrong manner and it wasn’t derogatory.

3. The short-run mess

In the match between DC and KXIP early in the campaign, Punjab were chasing a total of 158 runs and Mayank Agarwal was batting brilliantly. In the last over, when Mayank and Chris Jordan wanted to steal a couple, the on-field umpire, Nitin Menon, thought that Jordan had not crossed the crease during the first run and then he declared it a short run. This decision went against Punjab and the match was tied. Punjab went on to lose the match in the Super Over.

4. Aakash Chopra vs James Neesham

Aakash Chopra, the former India cricketer and commentator,  was not pleased with KXIP’s decision of playing James Neesham and expressed his displeasure in one of his YouTube videos. He went ahead and stated that the all-rounder was “not a match-winner”. When pointed out by a fan on Twitter, James Neesham retaliated by saying, “Averaging 18.5 and striking at 90 doesn’t win many matches either,” while mocking the IPL career of Chopra.

5. Ashwin lets Finch off with a warning

The mankading debate hogged light once again when Ravichandran Ashwin gave Aaron Finch a warning for leaving his crease in DC’s clash against RCB on October 5 in Dubai. The incident happened in the third over of Bangalore’s innings when Finch walked out of his crease at the non-striker’s end. But to everyone’s surprise, Ashwin decided not to dismiss Finch and instead let him off with a warning. After the match, Ashwin even took to social media and reacted to the incident: “Let’s make it clear !! First and final warning for 2020. I am making it official and don’t blame me later on. @RickyPonting #runout #nonstriker @AaronFinch5 and I are good buddies btw.”

6. Umpire retracts his decision

The IPL 2020 has had its fair share of umpiring controversies. Most notably, umpire Paul Reiffel came under the line of fire during the match between CSK and SRH. During the 19th over of SRH’s chase, MS Dhoni and Shardul Thakur expressed their disappointment after umpire Reiffel stretched his arms to signal a wide. Even though the replays showed the ball to be clearly outside the wide tramline, the umpire changed his mind and overturned his initial decision after the talismanic Dhoni’s protest from behind the wickets.