The recent controversy surrounding Pathirana being taken off the field has left many cricket fans and players perplexed. Pathirana, a Sri Lankan cricketer, was pulled out of the match between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Delhi Capitals for allegedly tampering with the ball.
The incident happened in the 19th over when an umpire noticed something unusual during one of Pathirana’s deliveries. Following this, a discussion between captains Mahendra Singh Dhoni of CSK and Shreyas Iyer of DC ensued. It was not clear what led to the issue but the umpires had a discussion and decided to remove Pathirana from the playing field.
It is yet to be confirmed what niggle, if any, Pathirana had when he left the field. A query with CSK to check on the reason Pathirana left the field has so far gone unanswered. Dhoni, it is understood, acknowledged the playing conditions, but argued that he had no option but to bowl Pathirana. Eventually, Pathirana was allowed to bowl, after four minutes of discussions between Dhoni and the umpires, which took care of the time he was out for.
The rules concerning bowling action are quite strict and very specific. According to the law 42.3 of the ICC’s Playing Conditions, “Any strike or practice that, directly or indirectly, manipulates the ball to incorrectly change its condition is illegal.” As a result of the incident, Pathirana may face disciplinary action. The umpires can impose a 5-run penalty on the batting side and suspend the bowler from bowling for the remainder of the match.
It remains to be seen if any action will be taken against Pathirana. For now, the controversy has highlighted the need for stricter regulations and better education of players regarding appropriate behaviour on the cricket field. The International Cricket Council, should look into this incident in detail and come up with appropriate actions and solutions to make sure such incidents do not happen again. A repeat of the same offence will result in the batting side being awarded five penalty runs and the bowler being suspended.