In the finals of the Global T20 Canada League on Monday morning, the Montreal Tigers defeated the Surrey Jaguars by 5 wickets, securing the title for the first time. Nepali fans were more eager to watch two Nepali players, Sandeep Lamichhane and Dipendra Singh Airee, play in the middle of the night, rather than being concerned about Surrey or Montreal winning the title in the league final. While participating in the third season of the Global T20, Airee and Sandeep, who were playing in a foreign league for the first time, found themselves in an uncomfortable situation during the last match of the league. This situation left the shocked Nepalese fans feeling uneasy as they watched their beloved players perform on the global stage.
With the Montreal Tigers needing 12.48 runs per over to win, Dipendra Airee was at the crease after scoring 5 runs off 9 balls. The commentator felt that Airee should take a risk and try to hit a six on the last ball, even if it meant losing his wicket. This would allow the more aggressive batsmen, such as Andre Russell and Carlos Brathwaite, to come into the crease and try to win the game.
I believe Dipendra should attempt to hit a six on this delivery, even if he ends up losing his wicket. There are batsmen like Russell and Brathwaite remaining. You are squandering the potential of those batsmen sitting in the dugout who should be out in the field, contributing to the team’s chances of winning the game.”
Right after the commentator’s remark, Airee attempted a boundary with a reverse sweep. However, he failed to make contact with the ball, leading to a total of 5 runs off Airee’s 10 deliveries as the over concluded. With victory requiring the team to achieve 13 runs per over, equating to 52 runs in 4 overs, the challenge ahead was substantial.
At the onset of the seventeenth over, a different commentator reiterated the same sentiment and inquired of his co-commentator,
“Did you suggest that Dipendra should retire?” There’s no need to interpret it personally; Andre Russell is a game-changer, capable of hitting boundaries. Dipendra might not do the same. He has amassed around 20 runs and performed admirably, yet it would be inappropriate to sideline Andre Russell during this critical juncture of the match.”
Following another dot ball, Airee struck a boundary by capitalizing on Spencer Johnson’s over-pitched delivery, directing the ball towards the cover area.Airee, who increased his strike rate, added 6 runs in the next 5 balls.
Meanwhile, the commentator again told Dipendra to be creative – “He has the license now (to play big shots). Play the scoop, hit deep-mid-wicket, you have to try to be creative in this situation, Dipendra.”
At the conclusion of the eighteenth over, the Montreal Tigers required 25 runs in 2 overs to secure victory. Dipendra, who had faced 17 deliveries, remained unbeaten with a contribution of 16 runs, including 1 boundary. Simultaneously, an unusual scene unfolded on the cricket ground, leaving the spectators in awe. Dipendra Airee was asked to retire and subsequently left the field.
Surrey captain Iftikhar Ahmed raised objections to Montreal’s decision, yet Surrey ultimately acknowledged and abided by the ruling, recognizing its adherence to the game’s regulations. According to the stipulated rules, if a batsman leaves the field without umpire permission while not being out, it is deemed a ‘retired out’ scenario, preventing their return.
Following this, Andre Russell replaced Dipendra in the lineup, swiftly making an impact by hitting 1 four and 2 sixes in just 6 balls, leading the team to a thrilling victory. Montreal’s strategy of substituting Dipendra with Russell proved effective.
The Nepalese supporters were unhappy with the Montreal Tigers’ victory because of their strategy. They were not comfortable with the sight of their favorite player, Dipendra Airee, being forced to leave the field even though he was not out. The supporters felt insulted and questioned Dipendra’s ability because of the Tigers’ decision to retire him.
Not only the Nepalese spectators but also the team captain Australian player Chris Lynn felt bad after the match. He apologized to Airee for having to call his batting players off the field without getting out.
“I want to apologize to Dipendra. I never thought in my life that I would ask a batsman to retire. But with a player like Andre Russell, you can’t run away and that proved to be true.”
Another incident that happened in the game also made the Nepalese audience feel upset. Sandeep, the star leg-spinner who performed brilliantly in the tournament, after three overs, the decision not to bowl him the remaining one over was not acceptable.
Sandeep commenced bowling in the eighth over, conceding only 4 runs. In the tenth over, Dilpreet Singh struck him for a boundary, resulting in 9 runs conceded. In the thirteenth over, he yielded 7 runs, with the final ball brushing the inside edge of Rutherford’s bat, unfortunately ending up behind the wicket. Despite the spinners facing challenges, Sandeep was not granted another over. Surrey found themselves without a bowler for the final over, leading to Ammar Khalid having to bowl, which contributed to their defeat.
Sandeep began his bowling spell in the eighth over of the innings, conceding only 4 runs in the initial over. In the tenth over, Dilpreet Singh managed to strike a boundary against him, resulting in a 9-run over. Moving to the thirteenth over, Sandeep gave away 7 runs, with the unfortunate final ball kissing the inside edge of Rutherford’s bat and ultimately finding its way to the boundary behind the wicket.
In the situation where the batsmen were struggling against the spinners, Sandeep was not given another over. As a result, Surrey lacked a bowler in the last over and had to bowl to Ammar Khalid, which also became a reason for the defeat.