Home > Features >

Mitchell Starc vs Kieron Pollard: Please let the consequences be a bit more severe than usual

Sport is unlike other professions: the physical effort is more than that of, say, someone working at a desk, and in a sport like cricket duels are often as psychologically draining as physical.  Screengrab of the moment courtesy Starsports.com
Sport is unlike other professions: the physical effort is more than that of, say, someone working at a desk, and in a sport like cricket duels are often as psychologically draining as physical. Screengrab of the moment courtesy Starsports.com

Mitchell Starc and Kieron Pollard have been involved in one of the ugliest on-field spats not just in the Indian Premier League (IPL) but in the history of the sport. Abhishek Mukherjee explains why the incident is just more than a one-off outburst.

What was it like?  – Mumbai Indians (MI), batting first, had put up 129 for four after 16 overs with Kieron Pollard and Rohit Sharma preparing themselves for the big onslaught. Mitchell Starc, one of the finest death-over bowlers in the world, had two overs up his sleeve: the stage was set for a riveting contest.

The first three deliveries had nothing to write home about. The fourth one was a bouncer that really took off from a length; Pollard, always ready for a challenge, hooked and missed. Starc unleashed a volley of verbals, Pollard shooed him away, and everyone assumed it was just the usual sledge.

Then Starc ran in again. Pollard, perhaps intentionally (he has the habit of doing the same, which has riled up many a bowler in tense situations), reasonably otherwise, backed away. Starc, may be intentionally, feasibly otherwise, followed Pollard when he had already backed away.

Pollard was furious. He flung the bat at Starc — well, almost; a last-minute change of mind had, thankfully, decelerated his action; the throw happened anyway, but at a reduced pace, dropping a few feet with a soft thud. Things had stopped there.

Why?  Pollard, and maybe Starc, may both get away with bans and fines. Starc had 24 balls to bowl; he had bowled out 12 of them, and had bowled only three more in this spell. One can understand fast bowlers losing temper after hours of toil, catches going down, being hit all around the park, and more.

But after three balls that had conceded a mere four? When your match figures read 2.3-0-12-0? What had Pollard done to earn it?

Let us take a look at Pollard as well. There was a bouncer, a hook, and a miss, and a few words being exchanged, which is a rather commonplace string of events in 2014. Starc did follow him, and Pollard did have a reason to react.

But this?  — The gloom of match-fixing still hovers on the Indian Premier League (IPL); vivid memories of Harbhajan Singh slapping S Sreesanth still echo in the minds of the fans; the worst thing that could have happened to the tournament is something of this order.

One must agree that sport is unlike other professions: the physical effort is more than that of, say, someone working at a desk, and in a sport like cricket duels are often as psychologically draining as physical. This, however, was not something expected of two stars of the tournament.

What was it that they keep saying of IPL? It is a version to attract those not interested in cricket, is it not? After the numerous ways that have tarnished the tournament over the years, was this the advertisement the tournament needed?

Was this the examples heroes are supposed to set in front of children who have taken up their first cricket bats and have coaxed their parents into buying them jerseys of their favourite IPL teams?

Please, Mr Sunil Gavaskar. Rise to it. Please. A humble plea. Let the verdict be a bit more severe than the usual.

 

Click here for IPL 2014 Points Table and Team Standings

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule: Match time table for IPL 7

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule & Results

Click here for IPL 2014 complete coverage

(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Deputy Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs at http://ovshake.blogspot.in and can be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ovshake42)

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan’s double ton puts Pakistan on top against Australia at stumps on Day 2 of 2nd Test

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Central Zone 214/4 at stumps; lead by 111 runs

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

KL Rahul could be opening option for India’s tour to Australia

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

WICB officials should visit India to minimize damage: Andy Roberts

Younis Khan: I want to be remembered as team-man

ICC World Cup 2015: New Zealand prime minister urges Indian fans to attend the tournament

Mohammad Yousuf: Muttiah Muralitharan would not have been allowed to bowl under current ICC rules

Mohammad Azharuddin’s son included in UP One-Day squad for Vijay Hazare Trophy

Don Bradman dismissed twice on the same day

Virat Kohli’s captaincy opportunities important in context of India’s succession plans

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Younis Khan equals Javed Miandad’s record of most 150+ scores by Pakistan batsman

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Manish Pandey showing signs of fulfilling potential

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

Bigg Boss 8 Day 40 highlights: Upen Patel faces captaincy woes; Gautam Gulati punished again!

Ayurvedic treatment: 7 types of Ayurvedic massages you should know about

Petrol rate cut by Rs 2.41 per litre, diesel to cost Rs 2.25 per litre less

Birthday Special: 9 popular dance songs of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan!

Man promised iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPad 4 and Macbook Pro for Rs 51,000, gets a ‘heavy brick’ instead

James Franklin, Colin de Grandhomme relay catch at the boundary to dismiss Nathan McCullum

Beauty Tip #43 — Get fuller-looking lips with home-made sugar scrub

NGOs pursue education for all

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Bigg Boss 8 Day 40 recap: Gautam Gulati calls Arya Babbar a dog and Praneet Bhatt a double dholki

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here