Will Ms Dhoni Play IPL 2023 Final ? : Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain MS Dhoni may have made a decision that could lead to regrets if he ends up being banned from playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 final. Dhoni, who was previously fined for slow play, now faces the possibility of missing out on the final at the Narendra Modi Stadium on May 28. During the GT vs CSK Qualifier 1 clash, Dhoni got into an argument with the umpires, resulting in a four-minute delay.
On Tuesday, Dhoni not only led the Chennai Super Kings to another IPL final but also employed a clever tactic by intentionally consuming valuable time. This strategic move allowed CSK’s Matheesha Pathirana to bowl the crucial 16th over against the Gujarat Titans in the first IPL qualifier.
CSK secured a victory against the defending champions, the Gujarat Titans, by 15 runs at their homeground, the MA Chidambaram Stadium. This win enabled CSK to qualify for their record-extending 10th final, finally breaking their losing streak against the IPL 2022 winners after four matches.
The incident unfolded when CSK bowler Matheesha Pathirana, who took 2 wickets for 37 runs in his 4 overs, was not permitted to bowl his second spell towards the end of the innings. Pathirana had briefly left the field during the Titans’ chase due to an undisclosed minor injury. He had completed his first 12-over spell before leaving.
As per the IPL playing conditions, any player who leaves the field for more than eight minutes must spend an equivalent amount of time on the field upon returning before they are allowed to bowl. However, upon Pathirana’s return, he was asked to bowl the 16th over, with the Gujarat Titans needing 71 runs to win from 30 balls, having struggled to reach a score of 102 for six.
According to a report in ESPN Cricinfo, Dhoni noticed umpire Anil Chaudhary having a conversation with Pathirana before the over commenced. The CSK captain then consulted Chris Gaffaney, the umpire positioned at square leg, to inquire about the nature of their discussion.
Television commentary indicated that Pathirana had been off the field for nine minutes, and the conversation on the field revolved around whether Pathirana was eligible to bowl or not.
The report further mentioned that match officials informed Dhoni that Pathirana would have to wait a little longer before he could resume bowling. While Dhoni acknowledged the situation and expressed his understanding, he felt compelled to give the ball to Pathirana, as he believed he had no other choice.
Dhoni was also reminded that CSK could face financial penalties for a slow over-rate and an in-match penalty, which would restrict them to having only four fielders outside the circle, if the last over did not begin within the stipulated time.
Amidst these discussions, the four minutes passed, and Pathirana was eventually allowed to bowl, even though the maximum permissible time of eight minutes had already elapsed. Although Pathirana did not take a wicket in that over, he did manage to dismiss the dangerous Vijay Shankar in his very next over, ultimately tilting the match in CSK’s favor.