Controversies are part and parcel of the cricket and the year 2019 was the same in terms of some bickering moments in the sports. The year 2019 was started with the biggest controversies of the year the Koffee with Karan fiasco and the list goes on. Meanwhile, players like Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft got the second chance in cricket after the infamous ball-tampering scandal in 2018 against South Africa in Capetown. All the three players returned to the Australian team, but only Smith and Warner were able to cement their position back with big runs after the comeback.
Here are some of the biggest controversies that rocked cricket in 2019.
Koffee with Karan (Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul)
The year started on a wrong foot for Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul. The two flamboyant Indian cricketers’ were invited on a popular chat show hosted by Bollywood director and producer Karan Johar - Koffee with Karan. The episode was aired officially on January 6 and within hours was much-talk about event of the year. Hardik made some misogynistic and sexist comments and told Karan: "When I lost my virginity, I came home and said, 'Main karke aya hai aaj (I had sex today)'. At a party my parents asked me 'acha tera wala (women) kaun sa hai [who is your interest here?] so I said yeh, yeh, yeh (pointing out women)' and they were like 'waah proud of you beta'," Pandya boasted.
Later, Hardik took to Twitter and apologized for hurting people's sentiments.
"After reflecting on my comments at the show, I would like to apologies to everyone concerned who I may have hurt in any way," he had tweeted.
"Honestly, I got a bit carried away with the nature of the show. In no way did I mean to disrespect or hurt anyone's sentiments. Respect," he added.
BCCI intervened in the matter and bash Pandya and Rahul for the comments on the show. On January 11, both the players were suspended by BCCI. Later on January 24, BCCI lifted the ban on both the players and were fined Rs. 20 Lakhs
Ravichandran Ashwin’s Mankading moment in IPL 2019
On March 25, Ravichandran Ashwin became the first player in Indian Premier League history to ‘Mankad’ a batsman and the victim was Rajasthan Royals’ opener Jos Buttler.
In the group stage match of IPL, Buttler was going strong at 69 off 43 balls in the chase of 185 runs, Ashwin 'Mankaded' the Rajasthan Royals opener without giving him any warning. Buttler was furious with Ashwin’s doing and exchanged heated arguments with KXIP skipper.
Later the cricket fraternity was divided on the incidents on which Ashwin said that the debates can continue “till cows come home”.
“There have even been debates about whether I waited for him to walk out of the crease. But what people don’t understand is that I hadn’t even reached the crease and he started walking away. Once your action is complete, you cannot go down and hit the stumps,” he said.
MS Dhoni insignia incident
During India's opening World Cup game against South Africa in Southampton, Dhoni's keeping gloves had a dagger logo embossed, which looked more like an Army insignia, which came under the scanner.
In the ICC rule book, a player is allowed to have only one sponsor's logo on the wicket-keeping gloves. In Dhoni's case, he already sports an SG logo on his gloves.
Dhoni is an Honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute Regiment of the Territorial Army and dagger is part of their emblem.
Taking a firm stand on the case, the ICC on June 7 denied Dhoni’s permission to wear the dagger insignia on his wicket-keeping gloves during the World Cup despite BCCI's assertion that it was not a military symbol.
World Cup final
The ICC World Cup was one of the biggest sporting events of 2019. The mega tournament was held in England and in the end, the hosts also became the World Champion for the same time. But everything didn’t go right in the big finale between England and New Zealand.
Many questions were raised over an umpiring decision which could’ve altered the course of the game in the 50th over of the second innings.
New Zealand had set up 242 for England. As the hosts needed nine runs off three balls, all-rounder Ben Stokes hit the ball into the deep off Trent Boult and ran for a double.
New Zealand's Martin Guptill threw the ball in an attempt to run out Stokes, but the ball bounced off Stokes' bat and reached the boundary. As a result, England were awarded six runs - two for a double and four for an overthrow.
Later the match was also ended in a tie and went to the super over, England won the world cup in a dramatic fashion, defeating New Zealand on boundary count after the game, and the super over ended in a tie. England hit 26 boundaries throughout the innings, while New Zealand had hit 17.
The boundary count rule was ridiculed by many in the cricket fraternity.
Following that nerve-wracking final, the ICC faced the wrath of fans and former players over the controversial rule.
Now ICC has finally made changes to the rule and in case a situation arises where both teams are tied even after the super over in a final or semifinal, the super over will be repeated until there is a clear winner.
Anushka Sharma, Farokh Engineer Tea-cup fiasco
It was one of the most shocking and unexpected controversies of 2019. Former Indian cricketer Farokh Engineer made some shocking comments in an interview to the Times of India, in which he bashed the Indian selection committee and said that he had seen the members of the panel serving tea to Virat Kohli's wife Anushka Sharma during 2019 World Cup in England.
On which Anushka Sharma hit back on the former player with a long post on his social media account.
On Twitter, Anushka wrote a lengthy statement in which she quoted multiple controversies in the past, where her name was linked up to sensationalize the reports.
"I have always been of the opinion that maintaining silence on false & fabricated news and stories against one is the best way to deal with your detractors. This is how I have handled my career for 11 years now I always saw dignity & truth embedded the shadow of my silence," Sharma wrote.
Anushka’s reaction was applauded by many on social media and Farokh took U-turn on his comments and said, “I just said it in a jest, and it’s being made a mountain out of a molehill,” Engineer was quoted as saying by Republic TV.
“Poor Anushka has been dragged into it, she is a lovely girl. Virat Kohli is a brilliant captain and coach Ravi Shastri is extremely good. The entire matter is being blown up unnecessarily. It turned out to be a selector as he was wearing an all India blazer.”