IPL 2019: Five major highlights from the first week
The twelfth edition of the IPL has completed its first week and we have had some thrilling contests in the first week. After a low scoring opening game in Chennai, the two excellent games on Sunday set the tournament. However, the season already has its share of controversies, some being affecting the outcomes of the games directly and forcing the law-makers of the game to rethink on some issues.
Amidst all the controversies, the quality of cricket has been not taken a back seat. As we enter the second week of the season, we look at 5 major highlights of the week.
#1 Ashwin 'mankading' Buttler
The biggest highlight of the week has been the dismissal of Jos Buttler by Ravichandran Ashwin, which, by MCC, is said to be within the laws and against the Spirit of the Game at the same time. Many former crickets including Shane Warne started chastising Ashwin for the incident, while others like Rahul Dravid and AB de Villiers were of the view that Ashwin did nothing wrong.
The mode of dismissal is well within the laws and Ashwin did not break any rules with his actions. But the controversy lies in the fact that he paused a bit and waited for Buttler to leave his crease before removing the bails. Whether the pause was deliberate or not is yet to be known, but as the rules say, Ashwin did not do anything wrong.
#2 S Ravi's umpiring howler
It is a shame that a game involving brilliant performances from stalwarts like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga and Hardik Pandya, will be remembered for an umpiring howler. With 7 required off the last ball to win for RCB, Malinga overstepped, which the umpire failed to notice and MI won the game by 4 runs. It was only after the players started shaking hands the big screen showed the replays. Both captains expressed their disappointments in the post-match talks.
It has almost become a habit of umpires nowadays to not check the front-foot no-balls unless it is a wicket-delivery. The fact that this incident happened on the last ball of the match and had a direct impact on the outcome of such a fiercely contested game makes this an issue the law-makers should work on.