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)

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (12:30 IST)   at Bulawayo

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

India tour of England 2014

Jul 17, 2014  at London

India won by 95 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 16, 2014  at Galle

South Africa won by 153 runs

Photos

Gallery: India vs England 2nd Test at Lord's

Videos

Alastair Cook jokes about his bowling

India’s wins in England — from 1971 to 2014

Ravindra Jadeja knighted by her majesty Queen Elizabeth II

India’s win over England in 2nd Test at Lord’s: Twitter reactions

Ishant Sharma pummels England into submission as India clinch Lord’s Test by 95 runs

Ishant Sharma registers name at Lord’s honours board, takes 6 wickets in 2nd Test against England

Bhuvneshwar Kumar England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Ishant Sharma South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014

India tour of England 2014: Sandeep Patil asks team to stay focused

Kane Williamson suspended from bowling by ICC

CPL 2014: Trinidad and Tobago to be integrated in Red Steel’s team name

Jos Buttler calls his Test call-up for England against India a “dream come true”

Pakistan court helps family of girl cricketer who committed suicide

India tour of England 2014: Figures demonstrate why the Lord’s win is special

India’s overseas victories where pace bowlers dominated – Part 2 of 2

Ishant Sharma: The enigma who takes key wickets

Statistical highlights of India vs England 2014, 2nd Test at Lord’s

Ishant Sharma’s email inbox after the Lord’s Test match against England

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

NDMC goes strict against illegal mobile towers in Karol Bagh

Aamir Khan comes to Salman Khan’s rescue

India tour of England 2014: Sandeep Patil asks team to stay focused

Commonwealth Games 2014 opening ceremony celebrated with a Google doodle

Geethanjali song Saitan Raj – Funny man Brahmanandam gets a rap song intro!

Aircel-Maxis deal: Former finance minister P Chidambaram ensured Dayanidhi Maran got 100 per cent shares, alleges Subramanian Swamy

Train engine derails as Maoists blow up rail track in Bihar

Kane Williamson suspended from bowling by ICC

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here