As Indian team is in a commanding position to win the ongoing Test series against England, the decision from Maharashtra Ranji skipper Swapnil Gugale might draw the sharp criticism in his kitty from his fans, for allowing a player as the replacement of Pandey. But somehow it’s good to see in terms of cricket for putting country over first-class and definitely not that fair for the spirit of the game while taking rules and regulations into the consideration.
The young and promising Karnataka batsman Manish Pandey, who has been taken out of the Ranji side at the last moment during their ongoing Ranji Trophy game at the PCA Stadium in Mohali while earning a late maiden call-up from BCCI selectors in the Indian Test squad in Mumbai after middle-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane got injured on Wednesday, just a day before the 4th Test at Wankhade.
According to the rules, the replacement is bound to be done while taking the opposition captain into the consideration, but there is always a freedom for the injured player to be replaced by a substitute while fielding.
Very soon during the ongoing game, Karnataka Ranji side playing with only ten batsmen had approached match referee Pranab Roy for a much-wanted replacement.
Sportzwiki had learned from the reports that after taking up the matter with MV Sridhar, BCCI’s general manager with due consent of Maharashtra skipper Swapnil Gugale, who however denied the request at the earliest.
“The match referee had asked for a substitute and we said no. That’s it. The game is a little crucial for us and you never know what can happen tomorrow,” Maharashtra skipper Swapnil Gugale said as quoting by ESPNcricinfo.
Robin Uthappa, who was warming the bench for the match, was the first option as a replacement for Karnataka but that did not happen.
“There was an example given by Rod Marsh (former Australian wicket-keeper). Once a bowler bowled in the first innings of a first-class match and he was taken out of the game for international cricket. Another player came in and bowled in his place.” Ramiz Raji, the former Pakistan cricketer turned commentator was quoted as saying by Deccan Herald.
Earlier, Roy urged that Pandey should not play in the Wankhade Test and he could return for the match if team management releases him after not finding his place in the playing eleven.
Amid the confusion, on the second day of the Group B match, Maharashtra while going seemingly against the spirit of the game had allowed Pandey’s replacement in the form bowling all-rounder David Mathias, who batted at number 7 and scored 6 runs off 23 balls before being trapped in front.
“[The] rules are clear that a replacement can be allowed subject to the consent of the captain of the opposing team,” Roy said, quoted as saying by The Hindu.
It’s pertinent to mention that on the very first day of the match, Maharashtra have turned down Karnataka side’s request as Pandey has flown to Mumbai from Delhi to share the dressing room.
There were the several times when players were docked 50 percent to 100 percent of their match fee – for acting against the spirit of cricket in the recent past, but this was something new and he [Mumbai skipper] was the man to decide whether to allow a player or not.
Karnataka have already qualified for the knockouts from Group B, whereas, to fill in for final qualification spot Maharashtra is in tug with Odisha and Delhi.
Is there anything to settle down for Maharashtra versus Karnataka game or it was just captain’s call to rely on?