'Pollard-Starc episode isn't cricket,' says Bishen Singh Bedi
Former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi slammed match referee Andy Pycroft's decision to only slap Mumbai Indians' Kieron Pollard (75 % of match fees) and Royal Challengers Bangalore Mitchell Starc (50 % of match fees) with fines instead of handing out suspensions for their antics in their Indian Premier League match in Mumbai on Tuesday.
In the 17th over of the Mumbai Indians innings, Pollard got into position to fling his bat at pacer Mitchell Starc, who delivered the ball, aimed at Pollard despite the West Indian backing away for some reason. Fortunately for Starc, the bat landed near Pollard and not at his end.
"The strongest punishment should have been slapped for these acts. It (Pollard flinging his bat) was a horrendous sight… so bad. It happened in the heat of the moment, but where does his heat-of-the-moment action stem from? It stems from all this drama attached to the IPL which you (Pollard) are party to. This surely cannot be called cricket," remarked Bedi.
Mumbai Indians' Kieron Pollard is all set to fling his bat at RCB's Mitchell Starc in the IPL at Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday. Pic/PTI
Meanwhile, former Test umpire Piloo Reporter said he felt Pollard should have copped a one-match ban. "To set an example, yes, he should have been banned. Yes, Starc bowled the ball even after Pollard backed off, but that does not mean you react in such a fashion. I have seen many players being nice on the field despite controversial incidents," said Reporter.
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According to an IPL media release, "Kieron Pollard of Mumbai Indians and Mitchell Starc of Royal Challengers Bangalore were both fined after an incident in the first innings. Mr Starc admitted to the level 2 offence (Article 2.2.11) of conduct contrary to the spirit of the game and accepted the sanction of a fine of 50% of his match fee.
Mr Pollard admitted to the level 2 offence (Article 2.2.7) of throwing his bat at or near a player and accepted the sanction of a fine of 75% of his match fee."