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5 Controversial Moments That Rocked T20 World Cup 2024 Group Stage: Ball Tampering, DRS Dilemma, Scheduling Bias & More

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The 2024 T20 World Cup group stage has been a whirlwind of action, upsets, and moments that divided fans and pundits. Beyond the thrilling sixes and nail-biting finishes, some contests were marred by controversy. Here are five such moments that got everyone talking, involving teams from different parts of the world, each with their unique style and approach to the game:

DRS Dilemma: The Bangladesh cricket team has expressed strong reservations about a contentious Decision Review System (DRS) ruling that unfolded during their recent T20 World Cup match against South Africa. The incident occurred in the 17th over when batsman Mahmudullah was adjudged LBW by the on-field umpire. Replays showed the ball was going down the leg side, and Bangladesh opted for a DRS review. The review, however, overturned the dismissal, but Bangladesh were denied four leg byes that would have resulted from the ball rolling to the fine-leg boundary. This ruling, which was seen as a misinterpretation of the DRS rules, led to a heated debate among fans and pundits. Bangladesh eventually lost by four runs.

Slow Over Rate: The USA were punished with five penalty runs during their ICC T20 World Cup Group A match against India in New York on Wednesday and became the first team to be penalized under the stop-clock rule. This rule, which regulates the time elapsed between overs, requires teams to start the next over within 60 seconds. A bowling team will receive two warnings if they go over time during their fielding innings and will be handed a five-run penalty for every further violation, as per ICC. This rule, aimed at maintaining the pace of the game, has been a topic of discussion among cricket enthusiasts.


Scheduling Bias: Sri Lanka's team voiced their discontent over the scheduling and logistical challenges they faced at the T20 World Cup. "It's so unfair for us, we have to leave every day because we are playing [at] four different venues," said Maheesh Theekshana. "It's unfair. The flight we took from Florida, from Miami, we had to wait like eight hours in the airport to get the flight. And we came around. We were supposed to leave at 8 pm, but we got the flight at 5 am. It's really unfair for us, but it doesn't matter when you play," he added. Theekshana was referring to the fact that Sri Lanka is one of only two teams, along with the Netherlands, that have been scheduled to play their first-round games at four different venues - New York, Dallas, Florida, and St Lucia, respectively.

Jersey Controversy: Uganda's historic debut was overshadowed by a pre-tournament dispute regarding their jersey design with the International Cricket Council (ICC). The Ugandan Cricket Association (UCA) had proudly chosen a fan-designed jersey featuring a bold feather pattern. However, the ICC raised concerns that the design obstructed the visibility of sponsor logos, a crucial revenue stream for the tournament. This request forced the UCA to hastily alter the design, removing a significant portion of the feathers, thereby dampening the spirit of their debut.

Ball Tampering: Pakistan pacer Haris Rauf was accused of running his thumb nail over the ball during USA vs PAK match by former South Africa pacer Juan "Rusty" Theron. Theron took to social media to accuse Rauf of tampering the ball and generating movement in the air. Tagging the International Cricket Council (ICC) in his post on X (formerly Twitter), Theron wrote: "ICC, are we just going to pretend Pakistan aren't scratching the hell out of this freshly changed ball? Reversing the ball that's just been changed 2 overs ago? "You can literally see Haris Rauf running his thumb nail over the ball at the top of his mark," added Theron.

These controversies remind us that the T20 World Cup is not just about cricketing brilliance. It's a cauldron of emotions, high stakes, and split-second decisions that can spark debate and discussion. As the tournament progresses, we can only expect more drama and controversy to unfold.

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