Bringing Cricket into Disrepute - Eastern Mirror
Sunday, February 05, 2023

Bringing Cricket into Disrepute

By The Editorial Team Updated: Mar 20, 2022 9:31 pm

Punitive action should be taken against Jharkhand for disrespecting the game of cricket at Eden Gardens. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) may consider banning the cricket team from participating any further in the ongoing Ranji Trophy for flouting the spirit of the game. Even after being in the dock for bringing disrepute to the game, the Jharkhand team didn’t show any remorse; rather the team has offered excuses in support of its acts, which clearly indicates that the team lacks sportsman spirit, the most important ingredient of the game.

It all happened when Jharkhand played against Plate Group champion Nagaland to seal the last quarterfinal berth of the tournament at Eden Gardens, a historic venue of the game. Many expected to see an engrossing contest between bat and the ball for the full duration of the match. But hopes shattered midway through the match as Jharkhand decided not to go for an outright win. Instead, the team from eastern India showed inclination to reach the last eight stage by virtue of the first innings lead only. It should be mentioned here that Jharkhand batted first and scored a mammoth 880 runs. In reply, Nagaland innings folded at 289 runs, conceding a huge lead of 591 runs. But Jharkhand did not impose a follow-on and decided to bat again on the pretext of giving the bowlers some rest. At the end of the fourth day, Jharkhand was ahead by 723 runs, which everyone thought sufficient to go for an outright.

But Jharkhand didn’t bother to declare the innings on the last day of the game and decided to extend the lead further. It continued to bat for nearly two sessions and secured a huge 1008-run lead and in the process established a dubious world record in terms of lead in any form of the game. Jharkhand’s desire to bat the entire day was not fulfilled as the Umpires called off the match as there was no chance of any outright result. When asked for the reason behind such a strange decision, the Jharkhand management timidly justified the act by saying that it was done to offer batting practices to the batters. It was nothing but an excuse as the quarterfinal match is slated to be held after three months.

While Jharkhand has earned the wrath of cricket lovers for its act on the field, Nagaland is being praised for its brilliant performance in this year’s competition. It could have been the icing on the cake if the team managed to reach the quarterfinals by beating a superior opponent like Jharkhand, the home state of former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is still remembered for upholding cricketing spirit. But, by not declaring the second innings, Jharkhand unfairly denied Nagaland from chasing the dream. Over the years, cricket has witnessed many sporting declarations and it was not an exaggeration to expect the same from the Jharkhand team too. Hopefully, BCCI will take exemplary steps to keep the game’s reputation intact.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Mar 20, 2022 9:31:55 pm