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Thu, 08 May 2014 13:30:00 GMT | By Mahek Vyas

Starc vs Pollard: Who was at fault?

On Monday, Shane Watson and Andre Russell had a few choice words for each other after Russell appeared to abandon his run-up to put off Watson, only to resume his run-up and bowl a dot ball. Watson protested with the umpire, who had no idea what had happened as the bowler was in his run-up behind the umpire.

Starc vs Pollard: Who was at fault?

But the conflict between players of Australia and the West Indies got worse on Tuesday, as Mitchell Starc and Kieron Pollard took their war of words one step further.

An incident like this is likely to lead to fines and/or suspensions. We’ve seen the bowler go through with his action as the batsman backed away too late many times, so Starc didn’t do anything against the laws of the game,as the umpire hadn’t called the ball dead until Starc was in his delivery stride. One can argue about the spirit of the game, but Starc should not face any punishment as he just followed a batsman who was backing away. Should he have followed Pollard? It’s a moot point as the umpire hadn’t called dead ball. But what Pollard did after that was clearly in breach of Clause 18 of Law 42, which pertains to players’ conduct, and should be punished as per the norms.

Since the start of the Indian Premier League in 2008, there have been a number of instances of players from Australia and the West Indies having a go at each other. Kieron Pollard and Shane Watson had a running feud through the last IPL season. Brad Hodge mocked Darren Sammy’s pacifier celebration after hitting the winning runs against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the eliminator.

The Aussie-Caribbean rivalry spilled over even into the Big Bash League, where Shane Warne and Marlon Samuels had a war of words that resulted in Warne telling Samuels to f*** off on air in 2013. This season, Brad Haddin handed his bat to Chris Gayle after the Jamaican dismissed him, and had this to say to Fox Sports in an interview:

“He's been all talk so far this tournament and they haven't won a game. It was disappointing to get out then, I was feeling pretty good, but at least the Thunder fans have seen Chris Gayle do something for his money."

Not one to back down, Gayle chose Twitter to respond to Haddin’s barbs, telling the Australian to stop watching his money, and that it wasn’t his fault Haddin wasn’t as good as him even if he batted right-handed.

With many games left in this IPL, with many players from both countries playing for different teams, it’s unlikely that we have seen the last of this continuing conflict.

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