Bangalore, Apr 8: In a fast-paced IPL Twenty20 game, there are few things on the field which sometimes go unnoticed. But the umpires are always remain alert to check what the players are up to. An incident which most of them ignored but was spotted by Australian umpire Simon Taufel, could snowball into a big controversy in the coming days.
The man in question here is Mumbai Indians' wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik. He was involved in an incident where Taufel had to warn him after the stumper was seen doing duty behind the stumps, wearing only one glove, on his right hand, the throwing hand. Karthik was disallowed to keep with only one glove.
This happened during the opening game against Chennai Super Kings on April 4 at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Whether it was fair or not to keep with one glove is debatable. Even the umpires don't have clarity on the issue.
The incident happened in the last over of Chennai innings. Karthik, who was standing on the edge of the 30-yard circle while keeping to Lasith Malinga, tuck one glove into his trouser at the back. Karthik's tactics were smart. He wanted to prevent the batsmen from taking a bye. He would save time in removing his glove and trying to throw the ball at the stumps in case the batsmen attempt a run.
While most of them did not notice that, Taufel was quick to spot that. Even the batsmen were not aware of what Karthik was doing. The Australian umpire, one of the best in the game, spoke to Karthik and told him to wear both gloves. He also had a word with captain Harbhajan Singh.
When Harbhajan was asked about the conversation, he said: “Dinesh was standing on the 30-yard circle and while he was wearing one glove, his other glove was behind his trouser. Then Simon Taufel came up to me and said, ‘If he has to stand on the circle, he might as well not use the gloves and pads'. I am not really sure what the rule is and I have to check the rule book. It's a new law that has come into play, so we were not really aware of it. Hopefully we will keep track of it next time.”
This was not the first time Karthik had attempted to keep with one glove. During the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy Twenty20 Tournament in Mumbai, he, while representing Tamil Nadu, was involved in a similar incident. At the time, umpire Anil Chaudhary did not allow Karthik to keep with one glove. In the same tournament, Karnataka's Robin Uthappa, who is playing for Pune Warriors as wicketkeeper-batsman, tried the same. But Chaudhar, the umpire did not allow that.
Karthik has pioneered a new move and we might see rest of the wicketkeepers taking advantage of this in IPL 5. But what will the umpires do? It is again debatable.
Here is what the Law 40 says: Law 40 (The wicket-keeper): Protective equipment: The wicket-keeper is the only fielder permitted to wear gloves and external leg guards.
According to the law, the wicketkeeper is “permitted” to wear gloves but it is not clear whether it is mandatory to wear.