The ongoing semifinal of the 2018-19 Ranji Trophy between Saurashtra and Karnataka at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore sparked some controversy of sorts when Saurashtra batsman Cheteshwar Pujara refused to walk despite edging the ball on Day 2 of the match. The incident occurred in the 23rd over of the Saurashtra innings when Pujara was batting on just one and could have turned out to be a massive moment in the game.
Karnataka pacer Abhimanyu Mithun was in the middle of a really good spell, making the ball talk on a pitch that had something in it for the fast bowlers. The ball pitched just short of the good length and moved enough to take the edge of the bat. Pujara, who was trying to play it off the front foot was taken by surprise with the extra bounce and sideways movement. The wicketkeeper completed the catch and the fielding side went up in unison to celebrate the big wicket.
The umpire however was unmoved by the celebrations of the bowler and the fielders and Pujara too decided not to walking when the umpire did not raise the finger. The Karnataka players were stunned by the decision of the umpire and were even seen trying to explain what exactly had happened in the middle. The umpire was completely unfazed with anything the fielders said or did and asked the players to get on with the game.
Pujara’s decision to not walk earned him criticism from several quarters. Even his national teammates Karun Nair and Manish Pandey were not pleased with his act and were spotted questioning him aggressively over the matter. Pujara however remained calm as usual and got ready to face the next ball.
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