2019 was a great year for the Indian cricket team as they dominated all three formats of the game and unleashed new stars like Shivam Dube and Deepak Chahar. Even domestic cricket veterans like Mayank Agarwal finally started showing what they were capable of, making the Indian team almost invincible. Cricket in India, however, was not free of controversies and here are five of the biggest ones from 2019.
While making an appearance on a popular Indian talk show together, opening batsman KL Rahul and all-rounder Hardik Pandya talked candidly about their personal lives and revealed some details which were offensive to certain sections of the society. Their comments were widely labelled 'sexist and derogatory' and both the cricketers received a lot of flak for the same. Courtesy social media, the controversy snowballed to such an extent that the duo was suspended by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for a number of matches and ordered them to give a written, unconditional apology for the incident.
Still i have played twice the number of matches you have played and i m still playing. Learn to respect ppl who have achieved.i have heard enough of your verbal diarrhoea.@sanjaymanjrekar— Ravindrasinh jadeja (@imjadeja) July 3, 2019
During the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, the Indian campaign almost looked flawless but cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar did not feel that Ravindra Jadeja's spot in the team was warranted. Manjrekar called Jadeja a 'bits-and-pieces' player, for which the global cricket fraternity criticised him severely. To make matters worse, Jadeja himself hit back at Manjrekar on Twitter and that seemed to spur him on as they went on to play a heroic innings in the semi-finals, where he almost took India to the finish line against New Zealand.
During India's historic Pink-ball Test with Bangladesh, veteran commentator Harsha Bhogle and Sanjay Manjrekar were in the commentary booth when Bhogle expressed his desire towards looking back at the game and analysing the issues that the players faced. Manjrekar, however, disregarded Bhogle's curiosities and implied that Bhogle should not ask critical questions without having played the game of cricket. Manjrekar, again, was subjected to a lot of criticism for his comments towards his co-commentator.
The Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) were playing the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in their opening game of the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) in which RR looked set to chase down KXIP's total. Ravichandran Ashwin, the then skipper of KXIP, caught a well-settled Jos Buttler off guard at the non-striker's end and 'mankaded' him after breaking his delivery stride. The cricket fraternity debated upon Ashwin's actions and whether they fell into the spirit of the game. Ashwin, however, remained confident of his actions and called them completely inside the laws of the game.
Regional T20 tournaments continued to blossom in India but the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) earned a lot of disrepute after multiple members of the league were charged with corruption. Veteran cricketer CM Gautam was banned after it was found out that he allegedly batted slowly in the finals to help certain bookmakers. Karnataka star Abhimanyu Mithun was also taken in for questioning by the Karnataka Police over his alleged involvement in the scandal. Other players, team-owners and entertainers were also arrested along with a slew of bookmakers.