Saturday, Jun 10, 2023

Cricketers Vs Boards: Nothin' Funny About Dottin Quandary

Cricketers Vs Boards: Nothin' Funny About Dottin Quandary

Feuds between players can normally be brushed off, but these instances of cricketers butting heads with boards or teams were not minor.

Dottin vs GG is a first in WPL, while Kohli's feud with Ganguly made big news.
Dottin vs GG is a first in WPL, while Kohli's feud with Ganguly made big news. Twitter

Even before the first ball of the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) was bowled, one of its franchises, Gujarat Giants, made headlines for unsavoury reasons.

They removed former West Indies all-rounder Deandra Dottin from their roster citing injury issues and announced Ireland-born Australian cricketer Kim Garth as her replacement. Fans sent Dottin ‘get well soon’ messages across social media. While replying to one on Instagram, Dottin wrote, "Get Well Soon from what may I ask", indicating she was fit to play.

The Giants, in turn, issued a clarification stating they had failed to obtain medical clearance on Dottin’s behalf.

The matter escalated when Dottin released a brief statement explaining a chain of events that had occurred between her and the Giants’ medical staff ahead of the showpiece tournament. The franchise, meanwhile, have put the issue to bed and won’t address further questions on it.

Players confronting one another is common on a cricket field, and at the end of the day, the two involved parties often shake hands and share a beverage dissolving any kind of animosity. However, things get complicated when the players decide to take on someone higher up in the hierarchy, such as their cricket board or franchise.

The Dottin episode is a first in WPL, but international cricket, especially the men’s format, has seen many occasions when players and boards got wrangled in controversies.

In 2021, India's all-format captain Virat Kohli relinquished his captaincy duties after the T20 World Cup without any prior indication. Sourav Ganguly, who was the BCCI Chairman, and Chetan Sharma, the chairman of the selection committee, claimed that they requested Kohli to reconsider his decision. This statement was refuted by Kohli at a press conference during India’s tour of South Africa. After India lost that series, Kohli quit captaincy in Tests, too.

Fingers were pointed at Ganguly and BCCI secretary Jay Shah in regards to how the issue was handled. There was a theory that the former wanted to send Kohli a show cause notice for his outburst.

The issue eventually died down, with everyone involved deciding to go their own way. But it hardly surprised fans of Indian cricket, as it has a history of palace intrigue, such as Ganguly’s tussle with Greg Chappell, Srinivas Venkatraghavan learning about him being replaced by Sunil Gavaskar as India’s captain in 1979 during an in-flight announcement, and so on.

Notorious Pakistani seamer and former cricketer Mohammad Amir alleged ill-treatment by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) when he shockingly announced his international retirement in 2020. Citing ‘mental torture’ as the reason behind his decision, Amir said, “I don't think I can bear such torture. I've been tortured by being told the PCB invested a lot in me. I'll just say two people invested in me a lot: Najam Sethi and Shahid Afridi.”

Amir never returned to the international scene despite continued requests. He has also never forgiven those he deems responsible for the premature ending of his career, and takes occasional potshots at them, especially the sacked PCB chief Ramiz Raja.

One of South Africa’s most prolific batters, Quinton de Kock found himself in the midst of a controversy surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement when he refused to ‘take the knee’ during his team’s T20 World Cup match against Pakistan in 2021. Cricket South Africa (CSA) did not take this lightly and in a move to make an example out of de Kock, dropped him from the subsequent match against the West Indies.

Issuing clarification on the situation, de Kock apologised for his action, stating that he was not racist, and said, “I was shocked that we were told on the way to an important match that there was an instruction that we had to follow, with a perceived ‘or else’. I don't think I was the only one [who did not agree with the way things were handled].”

Nevertheless, De Kock got support from his teammates, including captain Temba Bavuma, who is black. Luckily, CSA and de Kock eventually buried the hatchet.

David Warner was considered as a potential leader in Australian cricket owing to his aggression and knowledge of the game. However, his involvement in the Sandpapergate incident 2018 in South Africa raised dark clouds over his relationship with Cricket Australia (CA). He was banned from any kind of leadership role by the board. With new regulations coming into place, Warner appealed the ban after getting support from his family and teammates.

To his shock, the entire procedure turned upsetting for the southpaw, as it took nine months just to set up the process. "If I had it my way, we would have had it all sorted,” said Warner. Eventually, he decided to give up the appeal against the captaincy ban, claiming that the review panel, which was independent of CA, spoke offensively about him and wanted to ‘publicly lynch’ him.

One of the longstanding differences between a player and a board was seen between Dwayne Bravo and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). During an interview in 2009, the all-rounder lashed out at the board, claiming that the management at his club, Queen’s Park Cricket Club, was better organised. “They just do things badly. They send guys on tour two days before a series and stuff like your uniform arriving late. No one can actually believe how,” he said.

Bravo also accused the WICB of leaving him in a financial lurch in 2008 when he was out with injury and underwent surgery. Although the board paid for his treatment, he was left to spend his own money on aftercare and rehab. Bravo announced retirement from all forms of international cricket in 2021.


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