Kieron Pollard and Mitchell Starc were lucky to get away with just a fine for their disgraceful altercation during a match between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Wankhede Stadium in May 2014. Pollard lost 75% of his match fee while Starc was penalised 50% by match referee Andy Pycroft for an incident that should have definitely called for a stricter punishment.
The incident occurred after Starc bowled a bouncer at Pollard, who was beaten attempting a hook shot. The Aussie went up to the batsman and spoke a few words and Pollard’s reaction was to wave him off. As the left arm pacer ran in to bowl the next ball, the burly West Indian pulled out of the delivery by backing away outside leg stump. Starc though didn’t stop and bowled the ball in anger close to Pollard’s legs.
The Trinidadian wasn’t bemused and responded by swinging his bat hard – appearing to threaten to throw it at the bowler. The bat slipped out of his hand and thankfully fell on the leg side rather than close to any player. Both men were visibly angry and continued to exchange words. Starc later ran Pollard out, also taunting the latter by asking him to try and make his ground.
Pollard was charged under article 2.2.7 of the code, while Starc was charged under article 2.2.11. Both players admitted to level 2 offences under the IPL’s code of conduct, under which the penalties for a first offence range from a fine of between 50-100% of match fee and/or a suspension of up to two matches. Many experts had their views about this incident and the general feeling among them as well as the fans were that the players were lucky to have escaped a ban for such a grave and disgusting offence.