IPL 2019: MS Dhoni walks into controversy; questions umpires no ball decision

Updated: Apr 13, 2019, 12:36 IST | PTI

Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming defends captain's walk to the middle to question umpire's no ball decision, saying he was only seeking clarity but opinions remain divided in the cricket world

IPL 2019: MS Dhoni walks into controversy; questions umpires no ball decision
Dhoni points to umpire Gandhe claiming he retracted his no ball decision. Pics/AFP

Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming conceded that Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be questioned for his "unusual" confrontation with umpires over a no ball but defended the skipper's actions by saying that he was merely seeking "clarity".

In a rare instance, Dhoni, who was not meant to be on the field of play, lost his cool and rushed out of the dug-out to challenge umpire Ulhas Gandhe after he flip-flopped on a no ball during the IPL match against Rajasthan Royals on Thursday night.

A screen grab of umpire Ulhas Gandhe signalling a no-ball off RR's Ben Stokes
A screen grab of umpire Ulhas Gandhe signalling a no-ball off RR's Ben Stokes

"He [Dhoni] was certainly fired up the way the decision was handled and why it was overturned. It was a lack of clarity, obviously from him and he wanted to get it clarified at a key moment," Fleming said in the post-match press conference. "It is unusual, he is generally pretty calculative, so it is something that he will be questioned about I am sure for a long time."

The incident happened in the fourth ball of the last over when Ben Stokes bowled a waist-high full toss to Mitchell Santner. Initially, it looked as if Gandhe was about to signal a no ball only to decide otherwise.

Stephen Fleming
Stephen Fleming

Dhoni, who was dismissed off the previous delivery, lost his cool at the incident and walked onto the field of play and took the umpire head on. He was seen angrily gesturing at Gandhe before leg umpire Bruce Oxenford asked Dhoni to leave. The former India captain, however, escaped a ban and was let off with a 50 per cent fine on his match fee. "There was confusion. Our understanding was that the umpire at the bowler's end called a no ball and then there was confusion around whether there was 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 and discuss with the umpires.

That's how I saw it and that's how I discussed with him afterwards. I can't say whether it was right or not. What wasn't right was the confusion around the decision. It is above my pay grade to go further than that." CSK went on to win the match after Santner smashed a six off the last ball to power the team to a four-wicket win.

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