Mumbai: Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a blatant offender of the Spirit of Cricket, alleges former ICC umpire Daryl Harper who believes England’s middle-order batsman Jonny Bairstow was not out when his catch, deflected through Gautam Gambhir’s helmet, was held by the fielder.
Speaking exclusviely from Adelaide Oval, where he was witnessing the last day’s play between Australia and South Africa Test match, he said: “New accolades for M.S. Dhoni, the India skipper refused to withdraw an appeal when replays clearly showed that the ball had made contact with Gambhir’s helmet before he completed a catch to dismiss Bairstow.”
“It is a clear breach of the laws of cricket and any national captain worth his weight in salt would have immediately withdrawn the appeal and allowed Bairstow to continue his innings. But Dhoni is a repeated offender when it comes to ignoring the Spirit of Cricket,” lamented Harper.
“After the first Test, didn’t Dhoni make a thinly veiled disparaging remark about the umpires when he claimed that India had been forced to take more than ten wickets in England’s second innings?” asked Harper. “In Jamaica in 2011, this was the same captain who mumbled something obscure about being back in his hotel room earlier if the correct decisions had been made! What does the Spirit of Cricket mean when it refers to respect for opponents, officials and the game?
“Clearly Dhoni is above the game, but his history of disrespect for the game continues to build,” said Harper, his tone dripping with sarcasm.
“For refusing to allow Bairstow to continue, I expect that Dhoni will now be felicitated for his gesture. Maybe it will be an MBE; Member of the Bullies Empire or simply an OBE; Often Belligerent to Everyone. After all, MS Dhoni is the Indian captain and India does provide an estimated 70% of the world’s cricket revenue doesn’t it?. The whole thing does have a distinctive ring about it! It’s another case of too many Indians and not enough chiefs,” he said.