Why Punishing Virat Kohli For Showing Dissent On Field Is The Right Step For IPL

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Virat Kohli in a heated altercation with umpires over his controversial dismissal© BCCI

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 experienced a major controversy on Sunday as Virat Kohli was  dismissed off the bowling of Harshit Rana. The star batter's reaction to the entire incident has left the cricketing world divided. During the match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bengaluru, Kohli ended up hitting a full-toss straight back to Harshit Rana but the star batter was convinced that it was a no-ball. He quickly went for a review but the replays showed that the ball was dipping and as Kohli was standing outside his crease, the ball would have ended up dipping below his waist if he was standing at his normal batting position.

Kohli was visibly upset as the big screen showed that the third umpire has ruled against him but what followed has led to a massive controversy.

Kohli was frustrated with the decision and rather than leaving the field, he charged towards the on-field umpires and he ended up having a heated discussion with them. RCB skipper Faf Du Plessis also joined the conversation but it was clear that Kohli made his point quite aggressively to the officials.

The incident did not stop there as Kohli kept talking to himself while walking back to the dugout and just before entering the pavilion, he knocked over a trash can by throwing his gloves.

While the discussion over the dismissal has been dominating headlines, Kohli's reaction cannot be ignored. Over the years, Kohli's aggression on the field has developed into a motivator for the side as well as a subject of intense debate among cricket fans. While there are no questions over his genius as a cricketer, the status does not justify his outburst nor shield him from any punishment.

Kohli was fined 50 per cent of his match fee with the authorities making it clear that in cases like these, the 'Match Referee's decision is final and binding' while taking any decision.

"Mr Virat Kohli, Batter, Royal Challengers Bengaluru has been fined 50 per cent of his match fees for breaching the IPL Code of Conduct during Match 36 of the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata on April 21, 2024," an IPL statement read.

"Kohli committed a Level 1 offence under Article 2.8 of the IPL's Code of Conduct. He admitted to the offence and accepted the Match Referee's sanction," the statement added.

Back in 2019, Chennai Super Kings veteran MS Dhoni was embroiled in a controversy when he lost his cool and entered the field to have a clash of words with the umpires over a no-ball decision. Dhoni was fined 50 percent of match fees but not everyone was happy with the punishment.

"Obviously star players try to pressurise umpires but it's up to the umpires to withstand the pressure. They will do what they feel but it depends on the personality of the umpire," one of India's most well-known international umpires, K Hariharan, told PTI.

Six years later, another 'star player' lost his cool during a tough situation and ended up having a shouting match with the on-field officials. While the punishment remains the same, it is troubling that umpires are still facing such reactions from experienced international cricketers like Kohli.

As a result, the decision taken by the IPL authorities to punish a big player like Kohli is a strong reminder to all cricketers that fame will not act as a shield against unacceptable behaviour.

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