Royals vs Super Kings: “He was only seeking clarity,” Fleming defends Dhoni’s outburst
MS Dhoni was not pleased at the umpire overturning his decision. (BCCI Image)

Stephen Fleming, the Chennai Super Kings coach defended MS Dhoni’s actions which saw him barge into the field in the final over of their match against Rajasthan Royals, and said that the skipper intervened just to seek clarity over the matter. (READ: CSK prevail over RR after last-over drama)

The incident took place in the final over with CSK needing eight to win off three balls. Ben Stokes bowled a slower full toss, and while leg umpire Bruce Oxenford didn’t raise his arm, Ulhas Gandhe did and the buzzer also went off in the stadium which signifies that a no-ball has been called. However, seeing Oxenford’s reaction, Gandhe then dropped his arm and changed the earlier call. That is when an irate Dhoni stormed into the field and got into an animated chat with both umpires. (READ: Dhoni reprimanded for confrontation with umpires)

“Our understanding was that the umpire at the bowler’s end had called the no ball and then there was confusion around whether it was a no ball or not,” Fleming said. “MS was after some clarity and it didn’t seem to be coming. So, he took the opportunity to go out in there and discuss it with the umpires. That’s how I saw it and that’s how I discussed it with him afterward.”

Known for his calm demeanor and maintaining cool even during the most perplexed situations, Dhoni was later fined 50 percent of his match fee for breaching the IPL Code of Conduct. The skipper admitted to the Level 2 offence 2.20 of the IPL’s Code of Conduct and accepted the sanction.

“He only just wanted clarity. The rights and wrongs will be discussed by everybody, including Mahi, I’m sure. But, I think, it’ll be a discussion for the umpires afterwards and I am a watcher as you guys are, for now. But he was certainly fired up about the way the decision was handled and why it was over-turned or if it was over-turned. So, there was a lack of clarity, obviously, for him and he wanted to get it clarified at that key moment. It’s unusual but he’s usually pretty calculated. It’ll be something he will be questioned about for sure, for a long time,” added Fleming.

Dhoni’s actions has drawn reactions from almost every cricketing corner and believed by many former cricketers to not be in the best interest of the game.

“I’m not sure if that’s the right thing to do or not. Obviously, the tensions are running high in the IPL and every run counts. Yeah, it was a big moment in the game but whether stepping on to the pitch is quite right? Probably not,” Fleming mentioned.