The 2018-19 Ranji Trophy semifinal between Saurashtra and Karnataka at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore sparked a controversy when the Saurashtra batsman Cheteshwar Pujara refused to walk after edging the ball on second day of the match.
The incident happened in the 23rd over of Saurashtra’s innings when Pujara was batting on 1 run. Karnataka pacer Abhimanyu Mithun was making the ball move on a pitch assisting the fast bowlers. He came steaming in even as the batsman got into his strides and the delivered ball pitched just short of a good length area.
Pujara, as he usually does, prodded forward to defend, but the red cherry moved just enough and also bounced to surprise the right-hander. On its way to the wicketkeeper, the ball took the edge of the bat and after catching it, Karnataka players were cock-a-hoop. They started celebrating wildly as Pujara was a huge wicket. But they were unaware of the proceedings at the other end. Pujara refused to walk as the umpire didn’t raise his finger.
Karnataka players were shocked with the umpire’s verdict. They were expectedly aggressive in questioning the decision as the edge was clearly heard. But the on-field umpire suggested them to stay calm and continue playing. Karun Nair and Manish Pandey were left fuming with the fact that Pujara, the player of his stature, didn’t walk. They questioned him as well but Pujara was unmoved and got ready to face the next ball.
Here’s the video