The 12th edition of the Indian Premier League was a blockbuster, hit with loads of entertainment to the fans. Unlike previous seasons, it wasn’t dominated by any team in particular. It was a season where almost every team had a chance to make it to the playoffs at the fag end of the league stage. It all came down to who handled the pressure better. The competition was so close that it all came down to two runs in one ball in the final. Lasith Malinga trapped Shardul Thakur with a beautiful slower one, thus winning them their 4th title in seven years.
Apart from brilliant performances, there were instances where it seemed that the ‘Spirit of the Game’ was let down at some point. Along with this, umpiring was a major concern as it affected the outcome of a match on several occasions that led to controversies. Dhoni's run out in the finals between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians is one such moment.
Let us take a look at the three most controversial moments in 2019 IPL:
#1. The ‘Mankading’ incident involving Ashwin and Buttler:
It all started in the match between Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur. Punjab batted first and put on 184 runs on the board. Chasing this, RR got off to a flyer scoring 78 runs in 8 overs before Ajinkya Rahane departed. But the key player for RR, Jos Buttler was striking well and it seemed that the game was going in the host’s way. It was the penultimate ball of the 13th over which R Ashwin was bowling. Ashwin started his short run-up, ut stopped in the middle to dislodge the bail as Buttler was out of the crease. In accordance with the cricketing rules, the non-striker cannot leave the crease until and unless the ball is delivered. So, Buttler was sent back to the pavilion, thereby becoming the first victim of ‘Mankading’ in IPL history. This created a lot of reaction and fuss from both sides. While some defended Ashwin’s action as a bowler, others criticized him for this incident which was against the spirit of the game side
#2. The ‘No Ball’ that cost Royal Challengers Bangalore a match:
After a humiliating performance against Chennai in the inaugural, RCB looked to make inroads in their second match against Mumbai Indians at the Chinnaswamy stadium. Batting first, Mumbai posted 187 runs in 20 overs. On a flat wicket like the one at Chinnaswamy stadium, chasing 180 wasn’t a big ask. RCB didn’t get the start that they were looking for, but the skipper, as well as AB de Villiers, kept them in the hunt. After Kohli departed, AB took full charge and entertained the squad by clearing the ground on various occasions. He almost won the match for them until Jasprit Bumrah bowled a brilliant 19th over. Needing 16 off the last over, Lasith Malinga gave away 10 runs in the first five deliveries with six runs to be defended on the last ball. Malinga bowled a beautiful yorker on the final delivery which gave them the victory. But the replays clearly suggested that Malinga had overstepped on the final delivery by quite a margin. This went unseen by the umpires which led to Kohli fuming on the quality of umpiring, suggesting that they weren’t playing club cricket. Even Rohit Sharma accepted the fact that these incorrect decisions can change the outcome of a game.
#3. Dhoni furious with the on-field call:
MS Dhoni has always been known for his calmness and temperament on the field. All humans err, so did the great man. It was the 25th match of the 2019 IPL between Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings at Jaipur. RR batted first and posted 151 runs. Chasing this, CSK were in deep trouble as they lost four wickets with 24 runs on the board. Dhoni joined Rayudu in the middle and put on a 95-run stand that helped them recover from that position. Bowlers bowled tight spells to take the game to the final over which was bowled by Ben Stokes. Dhoni fell on the third ball of the 20th over with eight runs needed off the last three. Mitchell Santner faced the 4th delivery which was a full-toss for which umpire Ulhas Gandhe signaled no-ball. The drama began now, as he consulted the square leg umpire, Bruce Oxenford regarding his decision. The decision was overturned that led to Dhoni storming into the centre which was followed by an argument between the CSK skipper and the umpires. Dhoni left the pitch fuming as the ball was considered legal.