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Thursday, January 10, 2013

BCCI ensured MS Dhoni got Man of the Match award in 3rd Ind-Pak ODI to boost morale: TOI

The decision to give Indian Captain MS Dhoni the Man of the Match award for 3rd Ind-Pak ODI on Sunday, 6 January 2013 has surprised many watchers. Though the skipper had top-scored in the match for India with 36, his wicket-keeping wasn't spectacular and he dropped the catch of Misbah-ul-Haq, his opposite team captain. Times of India (TOI) quoted from some sources that Dhoni wasn't the frontrunner for the award but left others behind to the accolade at the last minute. Insiders have accused the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) of influencing the jury of commentators to name MS Dhoni for the award for the match that India won by 10 runs. Team India has scored 167 in 50 overs, but managed to bowl-out Team Pakistan on 157 in 49th over.

MS Dhoni

Headlines claimed that a famous commentator received a call from a senior BCCI official and was clearly told to make sure that Dhoni was named Man of the Match. So the commentator proposed Dhoni's name during the jury meeting. Although there were protests, the one who proposed Dhoni's name was influential enough to ensure the decision was taken as the BCCI wanted, even though the announcement raised several eyebrows.

The decision surprised some commentators not involved in the decision making so much, that they questioned the reason of giving the Indian captain a 'consolation prize' when others deserved it more. Sources said the commentators who voted for Mahendra Singh Dhoni, claimed that the choice was unanimous. But one former cricketer who voted in favour of MS Dhoni told TOI that Dhoni was given the award to boost his morale at a time when the time wasn't doing well.

The contenders for Man of the Match (MoM) of Sunday included Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal, who was almost unplayable as he teased the Indian batting to claim his career best ODI performance of 5 for 24. He was on hattrick chance in 29th over after picking Suresh Raina and R Ashwin. He also ended little cameo innings of RA Jadeja. Saeed Ajmal's performance was the most dominated one throughout the match.

Saeed Ajmal

Another top contender was India's Ravindra Jadeja, who scored valuable 27 runs when Indians were struggling. Then bowled his spell of 10 overs economically giving away just 19 runs and picking a crucial wicket of Umar Akmal. He also fielded brilliantly throughout the match and took a brilliant catch in the deep.

Medium pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was also in the running for MoM award for his magical opening spell which claimed two Pakistan wickets. Ishant Sharma was also another contender as his 3 wickets broken the backbone of Pakistan middle order. As far as the number of runs are concerned: Misbah-ul-Haq, Nasir Jamshed and SK Raina bagged similar scores to MS Dhoni. It is not known whether or not Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) complained about the MoM issue or not.

Times of India -
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Yahoo! Cricket -
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