The Harmanpreet Kaur incident in the third Women's ODI between Bangladesh and India in Mirpur has again brought focus on the 'Spirit of Cricket' debate that keeps cropping up from time to time.
The Indian skipper went on a rant against the on-field umpire who gave her out and hit the stumps in anger after her dismissal.
It was a scene that was unsavoury to say the least with cricket fans across the board unhappy with Harmanpreet's conduct during the game.
Being the captain of the Indian team, it was even more unbecoming from her to react in the way she did when the umpire had clearly given his decision.
It's natural for a player to feel hard done when she feels she has been given out wrongly. But irrespective of the decision given by the umpire, it's necessary and important for a player to maintain gamesmanship while the game is on.
For a visiting Indian captain on foreign soil, it's all the more important that she maintains her composure no matter what the situation or provocation she might encounter.
Role of umpires
The umpires are there to do a job and they are doing it to the best of their ability. As the rule of law in cricket goes, the umpire's decision is final. There are no two ways about it. It's understandable from Harmanpreet's point of view that India have been at the receiving end of some unfair decisions but again, that's how the game is at times. There are occasions when certain decisions go in your favour and there are times when decisions are against you.
Players have to have the gumption to accept the hard decisions, some even atrocious, in the heat of that moment and let it pass.
They will find the time and platform to vent their frustration and displeasure post the game or at any other public function but while the game is on and in the moment, it's important that one accepts the decision of the umpires and move on.
There are several instances of players getting bad decisions by the umpires and going back to the pavilion accepting the decision without making much of a fuss.
Some famous examples are that of the legendary Sachin Tendulkar.
The batting maestro was given out wrongly by the West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor twice in his career and Bucknor even admitted to it.
The first time was in 2003 at the Gabba in Brisbane when Tendulkar was wrongly adjudged leg before wicket on a Jason Gillespie delivery and Bucknor gave him out when the ball was clearly heading over the stumps.
Tendulkar was upset and did have a frown but that was about it, the legend just took a walk back to the dressing room without mouthing away any expletives or letting out any angry gestures.
In the second instance, which was in 2005 at the Eden Gardens Test against Pakistan, Tendulkar was asked to go by Bucknor when the latter felt the Indian superstar had edged Abdul Razzaq's delivery behind the stumps.
In reality, Bucknor later revealed there was a deviation when the ball was close to the bat and went behind to the wicket-keeper and he wrongly assessed that the ball took the edge of the bat and gave Tendulkar out.
Even on this occasion, Tendulkar, arguably the greatest batsman of the modern era statistically, just accepted the wrong decision and took it in his stride and just walked all the way back to the Eden Gardens Pavilion.
There are several instances that one could quote to illustrate how to maintain composure and civility while accepting poor umpiring decisions.
However, this would suffice to just make the point that there is no justification whatsoever for poor behaviour by players and especially the captain of a team in reaction to an umpiring decision not in their favour.
Set an example
The likes of Harmanpreet Kaur, who is the captain and a senior player, need to set examples with not just their on-field batting exploits but also their general conduct and demeanour during a match. There are several young players watching them on TV and inspired to play cricket for India and the last thing one wants to do is be a bad example to them.
Harmanpreet has to rise above poor umpiring decisions and lead the team by example with her cricketing sense and her conduct which is an integral part of a captain's role especially.