MS Dhoni’s career is filled with laurels and achievements. Ever since he made his debut in 2004, his fandom has grown and he has conjured respect and praises from every nook and corner of the cricketing globe. He is nearing the age of 39 and yet is deemed to have the firepower to succeed in the sport.
Dhoni is expected to return in the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), representing Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Over the years, a number of cricketers have talked about how they see Dhoni as a benchmark of success.
Nevertheless, en route his glorious cricket sojourn, the seasoned campaigner also had to encounter some unwanted moments, which could easily have marred his reputation. But such has been his stature and aura that those odd incidents could hardly blot his splendid career on the field.
In the article, let’s take a look at five controversial moments in Dhoni’s career: –
1. No-ball controversy in Jaipur
In IPL 2019, Dhoni, known to be cool as a cucumber, lost his mind for a brief while. It happened during Chennai Super Kings’ league game against Rajasthan Royals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. The occurring took place during the fag end of the game when the pendulum was swinging way too frequently.
Dhoni wasn’t happy with umpire Ulhas Gandhe, who backtracked on a no-ball decision. On seeing the umpire’s change of mind, Dhoni charged out and confronted Gandhe. The heated argument took place for quite some time before sanity prevailed.
Bruce Oxenford, another on-field umpire, had to convince the CSK skipper to head back to the dugout. However, Dhoni was docked 50 per cent of his match fees after he admitted to the Level 2 offense of the IPL’s code of conduct.
2. Third-umpire goof-up at the Gabba
Back in 2012, one more instance of Dhoni, losing his cool surfaced. It happened during India’s away tri-series in Australia, also involving Australia. In the seventh ODI at The Gabba in Brisbane, he entered into a verbal altercation with the on-field umpires.
Michael Hussey was out in the middle and Dhoni took the bails off in a flash after Suresh Raina beat him with an absolute ripper of a ball. Hussey had grounded his feet, but third umpire Bruce Oxenford pressed the ‘Out’ button.
On realising the error, on-field umpire Billy Bowden called Hussey back. The turn of events didn’t please Dhoni, who vent out his anger on the umpires, by any means. Hussey went on to score 59 with six fours, taking the Aussies to 288 for five. In the end, the home team came out trumps by 110 runs.
3. Rotation Policy
In the same ODI tri-series in Australia, Dhoni took some calls as a captain, which came under scrutiny. He said that the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir had to be rotated to ensure that the fielding standards are maintained.
Former captain and then then chairman of selectors Dilip Vengsarkar was also of the opinion that one should field the best eleven. Maninder Singh, another former cricketer, called the policy as “utter nonsense”. Dhoni wanted to give the young players enough exposure of playing on fields with big dimensions.
After Gambhir hung his boots from all forms of cricket on December 2018, he lashed out at Dhoni for the rotation policy. The veteran southpaw called the move ‘crap’ and asked Dhoni to stick to a decision.
4. Army symbol gloves in World Cup
MS Dhoni had his fair share of controversies even in the 2019 edition of the World Cup in England and Wales. In the Men in Blue’s very first game against South Africa at the Rose Bowl in Southampton, he was seen, wearing keeping gloves with Army Insignia.
The International Cricket Council then intervened and asked Jharkhand-born Dhoni to get rid of the badge from his gloves. A Pakistan minister also took a dig at Dhoni for donning the Army badge. The ICC made it clear that Dhoni can’t wear the badge from the match against Australia at the Oval.
However, Dhoni got support from former Indian cricketers and the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The world’s richest cricket board asked the apex board to reconsider its decision and threw its weight behind Dhoni.
5. Physical altercation with Mustafizur Rahman
Ms Dhoni was once involved in a mini-altercation with Bangladesh fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman. It panned out during India’s opening ODI against the Tigers in 2015 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
In the 25th over of India’s innings, Dhoni went for a single after playing the ball to mid-off. Mustafizur seemed to have glanced at MSD before moving to the path where the latter was running. Dhoni, meanwhile, barged into the Bangladesh pacer and appeared to shove the pacer away with his forearm.
Dhoni later said that he tried his best to avoid the collision, but couldn’t. He was later slapped with a fine of 75 per cent of his match fees. Mustafizur became the Player of the Match, but he lost 50 per cent of his match fees. Both Rahman and Dhoni pleaded not guilty to the charge.
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