Indian cricketer Ravi Ashwin has found himself at the centre of the cricket world’s ire after being accused of ‘cheating’ during an intense moment at the T20 World Cup.
Ashwin proved to be decisive on the bat for India as he scored the winning run to guide India past Pakistan when they were on the brink of defeat.
However, his game-winning knock took a background position on everyone’s minds as he became the centre of controversy while in the field earlier in the match.
The 36-year-old dove forward for a catch after Shan Masood had top-edged a ball from Mohammed Shami down to the fine leg.
The ball had clearly bounced before making its way into Ashwin’s grasp, however, the Indian still went on to claim that he had caught the ball.
In an attempt to confuse and sway the umpire’s decision the fielder got up and ran in to celebrate with his teammates, prompting official Marais Erasmus to refer the decision to the third umpire.
Erasmus had given a ‘soft signal’ of out, however, replays showed the ball had very clearly bounced, as was evident to everyone watching at home.
The third umpire gave the decision as not out, with fans quick to call out Ashwin for not playing within the spirit of the game.
Whilst the Indian star may not have realised the ball had bounced in the heat of the moment, many were quick to call out the conduct as ‘cheating’.
Island Cricket producer Daniel Alexander tweeted: “India's Ravichandran Ashwin claiming a catch which he knew he hadn't taken is a serious offence in cricket. Many Non-Indian cricketers were banned by ICC for claiming a bump ball under 'conduct contrary to the spirit of the game'.
“Will ICC ban Ashwin for cheating?”
India's Ravichandran Ashwin claiming a catch which he knew he hadn't taken is a serious offence in cricket. Many Non-Indian cricketers were banned by ICC for claiming a bump ball under 'conduct contrary to the spirit of the game'. Will @ICC ban Ashwin for cheating? 💰 #NotCricket— Daniel Alexander (@daniel86cricket) October 23, 2022
Indian television host Sumanth Raman said: “That catch should not have been claimed.”
Another fan commented: “Ashwin claimed the catch of Shaan Masood that clearly touched the ground. Where is the sportsmanship?”
A fourth added: “How can you claim that as a catch in the first place? Disgraceful.”
Ashwin is no stranger to controversy in the cricket world.
Late last year he found himself in a run-in with England captain Eoin Morgan during a match in the Indian Premier League.
Ashwin had taken a run when the ball ricocheted off fellow batsman Rishabh Pant, which drew the anger of Morgan for not being within the spirit of the game yet again.
The move isn’t technically illegal under ICC rules but is frowned upon by many cricketers.
Morgan reportedly called Ashwin a ‘disgrace’, according to the Times of India.
Featured Image Credit: Fox Cricket.
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