The IPL 2020 match between Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad generated controversy with MS Dhoni and on-field umpire Paul Reiffel at the centre of it. In the 19th over of SRH’s chase, Dhoni protested a wide ball call, which eventually stopped umpire Reiffel from making the decision.
Here’s how it panned out. Even though Sunrisers Hyderabad were six wickets down, Rashid Khan was in the mood of hitting big shots and was taking Sunrisers closer to the target. Shardul Thakur was bowling the penultimate over with SRH needing 27 off the final two. The first ball of the over was taken for 2 runs, and the next one was a wide.
The following delivery – second ball of the 19th, was again going outside line outside off, and even though Rashid had stepped out of his crease a bit, it looked like as if the decision was going against Thakur.
However, just when umpire Reiffel was began stretching his arms out to signal a wide, CSK captain Dhoni looked miffed with the decision and appeared angry. Dhoni looked pretty angry at Reiffel and began protesting even before the call was made. Eventually, Reiffel went against what he felt initially and decided to not give it a wide. Reiffel put his arms down looking at Dhoni’s reaction, and then decided that it was a fair delivery.
“It looks like he’s checking upstairs, but I don’t know what he’s checking,” said Slater. “It looked like his hands were coming out. That’s interesting … I don’t know.”
“[They’re checking] if it might have touched the bat, but if it touched the bat, it would have been a catch. It went straight to Dhoni,” said Gavaskar.
“I’m almost dead certain that I saw his (Reiffel) arms start to go out,” said Pietersen. “And there was a lot of shouting and screaming at him, and he sort of stopped his decision.”
The decision did not go down well with SRH, who looked displeased at the call. Their captain David Warner was fuming in the dugout at the ball not being called a wide. In the end, Sunrisers Hyderabad fell short of the target by 20 runs and Chennai Super Kings picked up their third win of the season.
It is to be noted that this is not the first time that Dhoni has shown his displeasure at an umpire’s call. In a match against Rajasthan Royals last year, Dhoni lost his cool at umpire Ulhas Gandhe, storming on to the pitch and getting into a heated argument with the on-field umpires. During the last over of CSK’s chase, Gandhe had tried to rule a waist-high full toss as no ball by Ben Stokes, but reversed his decision when square-leg umpire Bruce Oxenford did not signal for it.