The 2023 Cricket World Cup has been rife with controversies, capturing headlines and stirring debates among fans and experts alike. From unprecedented dismissals to disputed umpiring decisions, this tournament has had it all. One of the most notable incidents was Angelo Mathews' historic 'timed-out' dismissal. But this is just one of several contentious moments that have marked the tournament. Let's delve into the top five controversies that have defined the 2023 Cricket World Cup.
Top 5 Controversies of ICC World Cup 2023
ICC World Cup • 14 Nov, 2023 • 7,471 Views • ⭐ 4.3
Written by Anand Swami
Angelo Mathews' Historic 'Timed-Out' Dismissal
In a never-before-seen incident in international cricket, Angelo Mathews of Sri Lanka faced a 'timed-out' dismissal for being late to the crease. This occurred during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 in a match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, New Delhi, on November 6. Mathews was due to bat following the fall of Sadeera Samarawickerama’s wicket. However, the World Cup's playing conditions, which override the standard laws of cricket, stipulate that a batter must be ready to face the next delivery within two minutes of the previous wicket falling.
Mathews exceeded this timeframe, taking more than three minutes to prepare for his first ball. Consequently, upon appeal, he was declared out, marking the first instance in the history of international cricket, for both men and women, where a player was dismissed under the 'timed out' rule.
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Controversy Over Non-Wide Call in Virat Kohli’s Century Chase
In a match that will be remembered for its controversial umpiring decision, Indian batsman Virat Kohli scored his first century of the World Cup against Bangladesh. The moment of contention arose when Kohli, needing three runs to complete his century and India just two runs short of victory, faced a delivery from Bangladesh spinner Nasum Ahmed. Ahmed's ball, directed on the leg side, bypassed Kohli as he altered his stance, and it passed through to the wicketkeeper. This led to visible frustration from Kohli, as there was a widespread perception that Ahmed had intentionally bowled down the leg side to prevent Kohli from achieving his 48th ODI century.
However, umpire Richard Kettleborough did not signal a wide. Despite the controversy, Kohli managed to reach his century mark with a six, rendering the debate over the wide call moot in terms of the game's outcome. Nevertheless, this incident sparked a significant uproar online, with cricket fans and analysts divided, some supporting and others criticizing the umpire's decision. This moment underscored the subjective nature of cricket's wide ball rulings and their potential impact on significant milestones in the game.
Controversial DRS Decision in Pakistan-South Africa World Cup Clash
The ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 witnessed a nail-biting match at the M A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, where South Africa narrowly defeated Pakistan by one wicket. This match was pivotal for Pakistan's semi-final aspirations, especially after their victory over New Zealand and with England awaiting their final match. However, due to the intricacies of the net-run rate, a simple win was not sufficient for Pakistan to secure a semi-final spot.
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The drama peaked when South Africa, chasing 271, was teetering at 260/9. With 11 runs needed and just one wicket remaining, Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi were at the crease. Pakistan's Haris Rauf, after dismissing Lungi Ngidi, struck Shamsi on the pads, leading to an immediate appeal. To the naked eye, it appeared to be an out, but the umpire disagreed. Pakistan's review led to an 'umpire's call' on hitting the wickets, implying that an initial out decision would have handed Pakistan the win.
The outcome and the DRS decision fueled extensive debate on social media, with celebrities like Ayushman Khurana and former Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh opining that the DRS system snatched the match from Pakistan. However, Pakistan captain Babar Azam maintained a balanced view, stating, "DRS could go in your favour and against you as well. It is part and parcel of the game. Some decisions have been in our favour while some went against us. We will look to play the remaining games well and see where we finish in the end," emphasizing the unpredictable nature of DRS and its role in the game.
Glenn Maxwell Critiques Distracting Light Show at World Cup
Australian cricketer Glenn Maxwell has voiced his disapproval of the light show implemented during the drinks breaks in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. This spectacle involves turning off all floodlights while the players are on the field, followed by a display of various ground lights and synchronized high-octane music.
Maxwell's criticism stems from his personal experience at Perth Stadium during a Big Bash League game. He recounted, “Well, something like that light show happened at the Perth Stadium during a Big Bash game, and I just felt like it gave me shocking headaches and it takes me a while for my eyes to readjust.”
He further described the discomfort he faced under those conditions, stating, “I think we just lost a wicket and the Perth Stadium lights went nuts and I was at the other end.
It took me ages to get my eyes to go again and I felt like I had a headache. So, I just try to cover up as much as I possibly can and ignore it but it's a horrible, horrible idea. Great for the fans, horrible for the players.” Maxwell's comments bring to light the need for a balance between fan engagement and player well-being in cricket entertainment.
Mickey Arthur's Critique on Atmosphere in the India-Pakistan World Cup Match
Mickey Arthur, the Director of Cricket for the Pakistan team, expressed his confusion and dissatisfaction regarding the atmosphere during the high-profile India vs Pakistan match at the ICC World Cup 2023, held in Ahmedabad. Arthur's comments came in the aftermath of the match, where he pointed out the perceived bias in the event's presentation.
Addressing the media, Arthur remarked, "Look, I'd be lying if I said it didn't,” when questioned about the match feeling unlike a typical ICC event.
“It didn't seem like an ICC event to be brutally honest. It seemed like a bilateral series; it seemed like a BCCI event. I didn't hear 'Dil Dil Pakistan' coming through the microphones too often tonight.”
His comments followed Pakistan's defeat by 7 wickets at the hands of India. Arthur's observations highlight concerns over the neutrality and balance in the hosting and presentation of international cricket events, particularly those with significant historical and competitive importance.
The ICC World Cup 2023 has been as much about cricketing prowess as it has been about the controversies that have surrounded it. From groundbreaking dismissals to debates over umpiring decisions, these incidents have not only added drama to the tournament but also sparked important discussions about the rules and spirit of the game. As the cricket world reflects on these events, they serve as a reminder of the evolving nature of the sport and the continuous need to balance tradition with innovation.
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