• Post category:Sports

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain MS Dhoni was accused of wasting time to allow Sri Lankan fast bowler Matheesha Pathirana to bowl in the death overs of their Indian Premier League (IPL) qualifier against Gujarat Titans on May 24, 2023.

Pathirana had left the field after bowling his first over, the 12th, which went for 10 runs, including four wides. He was off the field for more than eight minutes, which is the maximum time allowed for a player to be off the field for treatment.

According to the IPL playing conditions, a player who is off the field for more than eight minutes must be on the field for a similar duration before they can bowl again. However, Dhoni brought Pathirana back on to bowl the 16th over, even though he had not been on the field for the required amount of time.

This led to accusations that Dhoni had deliberately wasted time to allow Pathirana to bowl in the death overs, when the runs are most valuable. Titans were at 102 for 6 at the time, needing 71 runs to win from 18 balls.

Pathirana bowled a good over, conceding just 11 runs, and Titans were eventually all out for 146, losing by 15 runs. However, the controversy over Dhoni’s decision to bring Pathirana back on so quickly overshadowed the result of the match.

It is not clear why Pathirana left the field in the first place. CSK have not given any explanation, and the umpires did not take any action against Dhoni for wasting time.

However, the incident has raised questions about whether the IPL’s playing conditions are clear enough, and whether they need to be tightened up to prevent teams from trying to gain an unfair advantage by wasting time.

Pathirana was allowed to bowl after a discussion with the umpires

After four minutes of discussion between Dhoni and the umpires, Pathirana was allowed to bowl. He gave away 13 runs in his second over, then picked Vijay Shankar’s wicket in his next over, which went for four runs and also saw Darshan Nalkande run out.

CSK was penalized for starting the 20th over after the cut-off time

The delay did not hurt CSK financially, but they were penalized for starting the 20th over after the cut-off time.

The umpires may have considered penalizing CSK for time-wasting

The umpires may have considered penalizing CSK under the unfair-play law, Law 41.9, which concerns time-wasting by the fielding side. As per this rule, the umpires have to issue a first and final warning to the fielding captain if they feel there is deliberate time-wasting during the course of an over. A repeat of the same offence will result in the batting side being awarded five penalty runs and the bowler being suspended. Enforcing the time-wasting rule, though, is left entirely to the discretion of the umpires.

Other teams may copy CSK’s tactics in the future