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Dhoni caught in a web of controversies

The Indian skipper was asked by the match referee to change his gloves as they had a webbing that did not conform to the rules, reports Atreyo Mukhopadhyay.

cricket Updated: Feb 25, 2008 02:37 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay

When it comes to India and Sydney, can controversies be far behind? Not these days. After umpiring blunders, sledging charges and accusations of racial abuse in the second Test last month, on Sunday it was about Mahendra Singh Dhoni's 'keeping gloves and a brief exchange of words between Ishant Sharma & Andrew Symonds.

The first one seems to be more serious. Sometime during the Australian innings, Dhoni couldn't recall when, he was asked by match referee Jeff Crowe to change his gloves. The reason apparently was that the webbing between the thumb and the index finger was bigger than permitted. It couldn't be confirmed but attention to this was apparently drawn by Ian Healy from the commentary box after the captain took a brilliant catch diving to his right to dismiss Adam Gilchrist in the third over. The rule says: "The webbing is not allowed to protrude beyond the straight line joining the top of the index finger to the top of the thumb."

Dhoni said he had used the same pair of gloves earlier in the series. "I don't know what the complication is but gave the gloves to the match referee to avoid further controversy. The one I am using in this competition is a replica of what I had used in the Test series. So I'm not sure what it's all about."

It was also learnt that Dhoni got two pairs of keeping gloves made by a company in Melbourne called Brooks after the Test series. He had actually used them before the start of the tri-series, in the Twenty20 international in Melbourne. The match referee's comment was not available.

In the other incident, it appeared from replays that Symonds had said something to the bowler, most probably the 'F' word, after being bowled in the 48th over. Ishant then stopped for a split second in his celebrations and gave back the same to the batsman. There was no announcement whether Crowe had spoken to both.

Dhoni said he couldn't say anything about this. "I did tell Ishant to calm down after that, but don't know what exactly was said. And I haven't had the time yet to check on that," he said soon after the match and added he had no news of the match referee summoning his fast bowler.