Asia Cup 2018 is set to begin from today (September 15) at the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with six teams – India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Hong Kong – participating in Asia’s biggest cricketing tournament. Asia Cup, in its previous editions, have witnessed many controversial moments, but the 2016 edition, which India won by defeating Bangladesh in the final, saw many heated moments, some with the umpires, some within the players.
Controversial decisions always spice things up, for the neutral fans - it is a pinch of ‘masala’. As we reminisce about the Asia Cup, let us take a look at some of the controversial moments that made the headlines in Asia Cup’s previous edition.
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Shakib Al Hasan broke the stumps with his bat
During Pakistan vs Bangladesh in the Asia Cup 2016, Shakib Al Hasan landed in trouble after he hit the stumps with his bat due to sheer frustration. He was given an official reprimand by the ICC for breaching the Level 1 of ICC Code of Conduct.
According to a press release by ICC, Bangladesh’s all-rounder was found to have breached Article 2.1.8 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to “abuse of cricket equipment or clothing, ground equipment or fixtures and fittings during an International match”.
The incident happened in the 18th over when Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir uprooted Shakib’s stumps to garner such a furious reaction from the Bangladeshi.
Thisara Perera’s baffling stumping decision
The umpiring decision during India vs Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup 2006 baffled everyone as Sri Lankan hot shot Thisara Perera was given out of a Dhoni stumping even though he had made his ground. The shocker occurred in the 19th over when Thisara Perera came down the track only for Ravichandran Ashwin to bowl a wide delivery to fox out Perera. The leg-umpire Shozab Raza gave him out in a jiffy but the replays show he was comfortably in. The on-field umpires decided not to review the decision and Perera was given the marching orders.
Mohammad Sami no balls mystery
Pakistani seamer Mohammad Sami had a nightmare of an Asia Cup in 2006 after he bowled two no balls in the 19th over when Bangladesh required 18 runs from two. Mashrafe Mortaza was caught at long off, but it was Sami’s first no ball of the over. In Sami’s second no ball, Mahmuddullah smashed a boundary to pile misery on Pakistan and Sami. The game was taken away in that over and the Tigers won the match.
When MS Dhoni lost his cool
Asia Cup 2016 was infamous for the umpiring decision. It hit such a low that event the ‘captain cool’ MS Dhoni lost his temper after Pakistan’s Khurram Manzoor was given not out even after edging the ball during an Ashish Nehra over in high-octane India vs Pakistan match. Dhoni ran up to the on-field umpire to have a chat but the decision was not overturned, neither a referral was taken.
MS Dhoni-Taskin Ahmed photoshopped image
The morphed image of Bangladesh’s Taskin Ahmed holding MS Dhoni’s head created a huge social media meltdown as angry Indian fans launched anti-Bangladesh campaigns over the social media. Cricket is known as ‘Gentlemen’s Game’ and controversies like this have no place in it. When asked about the incident, team manager Ravi Shastri had then said that players don’t read newspapers and their main job is to play cricket. The incident became so massive because it was just before the all-important final of the Asia Cup 2016.