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Top 6 Controversies in 2023 Crickеt World Cup

Thе ICC Crickеt World Cup 2023, a highly awaited sporting spеctaclе, has bееn full of thrilling momеnts and unеxpеctеd twists on thе fiеld.  Tеn cricketing nations compеtеd fiercely for victory, but thе tournamеnt also saw its fair sharе of momеnts that sparkеd worldwide discussions.  From debatable decisions madе by umpires to surprising wins by underdog teams,  thе еvеnt highlighted both the rеsiliеncе of playеrs and thе controversies that arе inherent in thе sport.  In this blog, we’ll uncover thе most talked-about incidеnts that overshadowed the Crickеt World Cup 2023, shedding light on еvеnts that not only tested thе playеrs’ abilities but also raised quеstions about thе game’s true еssеncе.

DRS controversy

In a crucial match between Pakistan and South Africa during the 2023 World Cup at Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Stadium, tensions ran high as both teams fought fiercely. Pakistan, in dire need of a win, set a target of 271 runs for the Proteas. As the game unfolded, South Africa faced a stumbling block despite a comfortable position, only to ultimately secure victory by just one wicket. However, the match was marred by two controversial incidents related to the Decision Review System (DRS).

The first controversy arose during the 19th over, bowled by spinner Usama Mir when the on-field umpire ruled Rassie van der Dussen out LBW. Initially, the ball’s trajectory indicated it was heading down the leg side, away from the leg stump. However, during the review, the ‘second-ball tracking’ upheld the umpire’s call, despite doubts, forcing van der Dussen to leave the field.

Later, in the 46th over, a pivotal moment occurred when Haris Rauf’s DRS appeal went against Pakistan. Tabraiz Shamsi survived as the umpire’s call favoured him, even though replays showed the ball hitting the stumps after pitching outside the off. This decision, in Shamsi’s favour, sparked criticism from former Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh, who argued that Pakistan’s loss was due to such judgments. Many other experts and fans joined in heated discussions, lambasting the ICC and the officials for these contentious calls.

 Virat Kohli’s century vs Bangladesh

In a standout performance during the World Cup, Virat Kohli showcased his remarkable talent, especially during India’s match against Bangladesh. However, his journey to a century faced a tense moment when he was three runs away from the milestone, with India requiring only two runs to seal the victory.

During this crucial phase, Bangladesh’s spinner Nasum Ahmed attempted to disrupt Kohli’s momentum by bowling down the leg side deliberately. Surprisingly, the on-field umpire, Richard Kettleborough, chose not to signal it as a wide delivery, creating a contentious situation.

Nevertheless, despite the tense scenario, Kohli stayed focused. In the 42nd over, he smashed a magnificent six over deep midwicket, securing his century and finishing unbeaten on 103. This decisive shot marked Kohli’s outstanding performance and ensured India’s comfortable triumph in the match.

Marcus Stoinis’ dismissal against South Africa

During the intense match between Australia and South Africa, a significant moment unfolded when all-rounder Marcus Stoinis encountered a controversial dismissal due to a successful Decision Review System (DRS) appeal by South Africa.

As Australia found themselves in trouble with five wickets down in just 17 overs of their run-chase, Stoinis entered the crease to stabilize his team’s innings. On the second ball of the 18th over, bowled by Kagiso Rabada, Stoinis edged a back-of-length delivery to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.

However, South Africa challenged the original ‘not out’ decision. After a thorough review, Stoinis was given out. This decision sparked debates among fans and pundits regarding whether the ball made contact with Stoinis’ glove or thigh, with opinions split, although the likelihood leaned toward a touch on the glove.

 Haris Rauf – Paul van Meekeren face-off

During the Netherlands’ pursuit of a challenging target of 287 runs, the team found themselves at 184/9, with their last batsman, Paul van Meekeren, entering the crease. The match took an intense turn during the 39th over as tempers flared between Pakistani fast bowler Haris Rauf and van Meekeren, adding spice to the contest’s climax.

Fueled by the exchange of words, Haris Rauf, charged up and determined, unleashed a series of aggressive bouncers at the Dutch batsman. His fiery spell culminated in van Meekeren’s stumps being dislodged on the final delivery of the 41st over, securing victory for Pakistan. Rauf celebrated the dismissal with a passionate send-off in the heat of the moment, sealing a memorable win for his team.

 Last-minute pitch change

There was a sudden change in the pitch for the India vs. New Zealand semi-final match held at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. Reports from the Indian Express suggested that the Indian cricket management requested a slower pitch, prompting alleged alterations that included removing grass to favour Indian spinners. Another report from the Daily Mail suggested that the match might have been played on a pitch previously used twice rather than a fresh one, raising questions about fairness in pitch selection for the Indian team.

Adding to the controversy, a purported WhatsApp message circulated among BCCI and ICC officials mentioning the match’s relocation to pitch number six. The International Cricket Council (ICC) later clarified that independent pitch consultant Andy Atkinson was consulted before the surface change, attempting to address concerns and shed light on the decision-making process.

Major Off-Field Controversies During the World Cup

Chants and Demeaning Behavior at Narendra Modi Stadium

At the Narendra Modi Stadium, a section of Indian fans heckled Mohammad Rizwan with “Jai Shri Ram” chants as he walked back to the pavilion. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) filed a complaint, sparking a political debate. The opposition criticized the fans for demeaning others’ religious sentiments, while the ruling party praised the gesture, leading to a polarized response.

Bullying of Bangladeshi Fans by Indian Supporters

Indian fans faced criticism again when a group reportedly bullied a Bangladeshi fan, tearing apart his beloved soft toy. Shoaib, a dedicated Bangladesh supporter known for his tiger-themed attire and toy, expressed shock at the hostile treatment he received from Indian fans, an unexpected turn during the World Cup.

Kapil Dev’s Absence from World Cup Final

Former Indian captain Kapil Dev revealed he wasn’t invited to the ICC Cricket World Cup final. Expressing disappointment, Kapil stated that the BCCI did not extend an invitation, adding that he wished for the 1983 World Cup-winning team’s presence at the stadium. Fans and critics alike questioned the BCCI’s actions, criticizing their handling of the situation.