Cricket was the loser once again on Saturday as Delhi captain Gautam Gambhir and his Bengal counterpart Manoj Tiwary were involved in an ugly on-field spat during their Ranji Trophy match at the Ferozeshah Kotla in Delhi on Saturday.
After the day’s play, BCCI referee Valmick Buch summoned both captains, along with their team managers. He reportedly fined Gambhir 70 percent of his match fee and Tiwary 40 percent. However, Buch was not available to confirm the quantum of fine.
Some reports said that DDCA had fined Gambhir 50 per cent of his match fee. But DDCA vice-president Chetan Chauhan told JantaKaReporter.com that the association had no right to fine players when a BCCI match referee was present.
The two captain, according to eyewitnesses, virtually came close to exchanging blows on the third day of the four-day game, and the umpires had to intervene to prevent the situation turning uglier.
According to eyewitnesses, the incident happened in the eighth over of the day when Bengal’s Partha Sarathi Bhattacharjee got out to left-arm spinner Manan Sharma. Tiwary, the next batsman, walked in to bat at No. 4 wearing a cap.
After taking guard, Tiwary signalled to someone in the Bengal dressing room to bring his helmet as he might have realised that a pacer was bowling from the other end.
Delhi players thought that it was a deliberate ploy by Tiwary to waste time. Gambhir, who was fielding at first slip, also got involved as Tiwary and Manan were exchanging words.
As the situation was getting out of control, umpire Srinath intervened.
Since the incident was as serious once, Buch, a former Baroda left-arm spinner, was summoned Tiwary and Gambhir after the day’s play along with the managers of both teams.
Gambhir’s frustration could also be due to personal and team factors. He was the only Delhi batsman who failed to score in the first innings while his team conceded 108 runs first-innings lead to Bengal.
Batting first, Bengal scored 357, with Tiwary scoring 55, and Delhi were all out for 249. In their second innings, Bengal were 47 for three wickets, taking their overall lead to 155 runs.
Sunday is the last day of the match and Bengal would look to give a target to Delhi by scoring fast in the first session of play.
Delhi had a flying start to the season, wining two of the first three matches and they are currently atop Group A with 14 points. Bengal are also in the same group and both their matches before this game have ended in draws.