The past couple of days have been tough for several budding Indian cricketers. U-19 World Cup winning batsman Manjot Kalra received a suspension for allegedly, committing age-fraud. Besides him, Delhi vice-captain Nitish Rana and UP fast-bowler Shivam Mavi too, copped warnings for the allegation. Both Rana and Mavi represent Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, and apparently, the KKR players are going through a particularly rough phase. Today, another young KKR star featured in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Punjab batsman Shubman Gill became the center of a major controversy in today’s Ranji Trophy match between Punjab and Delhi. Opening for Punjab, Gill was batting at 10 when straight umpire Mohammed Rafi adjudged him out. Rafi decided that Shubman had edged pacer Subodh Bhati’s delivery to keeper Anuj Rawat, prompting him to make his decision. However, Gill stood firm in his crease and refused to walk back. Even before the Delhi players could react, Gill walked up and engaged in a heated conversation with Rafi. It wasn’t long before square-leg umpire Pashchim Pathak intervened to help his colleague, who was debuting in his umpiring duties.
It was a long discussion, lasting close to 10 minutes, and once play resumed, Rafi reversed his decision. Opposing captain Dhruv Shorey did question the umpires about the change of decisions, but there wasn’t much debate this time and normal play resumed. Gill, in fact, couldn’t make much use of his reprieve, as only a couple deliveries later, pacer Simarjeet Singh got an edge off him to ‘keeper Rawat. This time, Shubman didn’t object and walked back to the pavilion.
“Gill abused umpire Mohammed Rafi”-Vice Captain Nitish Rana
However, many of the on-field journalists have alleged that Gill was furious in his demeanor, and even allegedly abused debutante-umpire Rafi. One of the reporters even got vice-captain Nitish Rana on quote, claiming that Shubman did, indeed, use inappropriate language. Such reports of inappropriate behavior can be a major concern for Shubman. Given that he will be leading the India A team in New Zealand in a few weeks’ time, he wouldn’t want the matter to drag on. Interestingly, no one from the Delhi team management has made any statement against Gill or the Punjab team. In fact, team manager Vivek Khuranna claimed that both the teams acted maturely, and at no point did the Delhi players plan on walking out of the field. The players had some long discussions, but play resumed once the match referee had a quick word with the players.
Gill’s ultimate dismissal, actually helped Punjab to get their innings back on track. Gurkeerat Mann joined captain Mandeep Singh to stitch a solid third-wicket partnership that laid the foundation of their comeback. Presently, their scoreboard reads 241/6 at the end of 70 overs. Delhi would look to win this match and move up from the 11th spot at the group A & B table. Punjab, meanwhile, would aim to consolidate their position at the top of the table.