“Cricket can be played without…” – Sunil Gavaskar’s stern message to Harshit Rana

Mayank Agarwal, Harshit Rana and Sunil Gavaskar

Former Indian batsman turned renowned cricket expert Sunil Gavaskar did not like the gesture that Harshit Rana made towards Sunrisers Hyderabad opener Mayank Agarwal last night. Rana, who proved to be the hero of Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens in their first match of IPL 2024, gave a flying kiss to Agarwal after claiming the wicket from him in the sixth over.

That particular gesture lit up the entire crowd in the stadium as KKR fans loved it all but the IPL authorities and Sunil Gavaskar didn’t like it at all. Although the league officials charged Harshit Rana 60% of the match fees, Gavaskar claimed that the youngster was under no obligation to do so and that it was unnecessary. But the right-arm pacer will be happy anyway as it was he who dragged Kolkata to victory with their last 6 deliveries.

“Rana committed two Level 1 offenses under Article 2.5 of the IPL Code of Conduct. He was fined 10 per cent and 50 per cent of his match fees for the two respective offences. “Rana admitted the two infractions and accepted the sanction from the match referee.” – The IPL press notice is read.

Gavaskar asks Harshit Rana to control his emotions and celebrate with teammates

Sunil Gavaskar, who as always is as a commentator for the current edition of IPL, first said that Harshit Rana should not have done that gesture: the flying kiss that had a lot of anger. Anger that Mayank Agarwal, before being caught at deep square leg by Rinku Singh off a bouncer, was hitting KKR bowlers all over the park. Be it Starc, Varun Chakravarthy or Rana, Agarwal had started a good reply with Abhishek Sharma in his pursuit of 209.

Harshit Rana’s flying kiss was not much appreciated by Mayank Agarwal, who also looked at it but walked away silently. Sunil Gavaskar then defended Agarwal saying that he was not making any negative gestures despite hitting balls out of the park and that he can play cricket without these gestures.

Gavaskar then asked Rana to stay in control of his emotions in this digital era and if he wants to celebrate, his teammates will always be there for it.

“I shouldn’t have done that. Did the batsman do anything to him when he hit sixes? Cricket can be played without these antics. It is the age of television. I understand that. Celebrate with your teammates, but there is no need for the opponent to do such antics.” – Gavaskar said after the match at Eden Gardens.

Watch Rana’s flying kiss to Agarwal

Agarwal’s dismissal may not have been so good, but Harshit Rana’s 20th over in the second innings was. He took the responsibility of defending 13 of the last 6 against the dangerously placed Heinrich Klaasen and Shahbaz Ahmed, who had a strike rate of over 300.

After conceding 6 off Klaasen’s first ball, Rana scalped Ahmed on the third ball and then Klaasen on the fifth, both caught at long and short third man respectively.