'No place at all for a captain to storm onto the pitch from the dugout.'
Mahendra Singh Dhoni's uncharacteristic outburst against a controversial umpiring decision during Thursday night's Indian Premier League match in Jaipur led to the Chennai Super Kings captain being fined 50 percent of his match fee.
Hailed as 'Captain Cool' during his trophy-laden years as India skipper, an unusually fired-up Dhoni stepped onto the field to remonstrate with the umpires over a contentious no-ball call in a dramatic final over against Rajasthan Royals.
"MS Dhoni, the Chennai Super Kings captain, was fined 50 percent of his match fees for breaching the Indian Premier League's Code of Conduct during his team's match against Rajasthan Royals at Jaipur," the league said in a statement.
Confusion reigned in the last over after umpire Ulhas Gandhe signalled Ben Stokes's waist-high delivery a no-ball but the decision was overruled by square-leg umpire Bruce Oxenford, prompting Dhoni to enter the field and confront the umpires.
The no-ball was eventually deemed a legal delivery, but Chennai, needing four runs off the last ball, managed to win with a last-ball six from Mitchell Santner.
"MS was after some clarity and it didn't seem to be coming so he took the opportunity to go out and discuss it with the umpires. The rights and wrongs will be discussed by everybody," Chennai head coach Stephen Fleming said.
"He was certainly fired up about the way the decision was handled and why it was overturned... and he wanted to get it clarified at a key moment."
Rajasthan's Jos Buttler was not sure if Dhoni did the right thing in approaching the umpires.
"Obviously tensions are running high in the IPL, every run counts and it was a big moment in the game," the Englishman said. "But whether stepping on to the pitch is right, no, probably not."
Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar, who is doing commentary in the ongoing IPL, believes the CSK skipper stepped out of line and was lucky to get away with a fine.
"Have always been a big Dhoni admirer, but he was clearly out of line walking out like that. Lucky to get away with just a small fine," he tweeted.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan was more outspoken in his criticism of Dhoni.
"This is not a good look for the game," Vaughan tweeted. "No place at all for a captain to storm onto the pitch from the dugout."
Former Australian batsman Mark Waugh took to Twitter to express his disappointment with Dhoni.
"I know there's pressure from owners and big money involved in the IPL but I've been very disappointed with the two incidents involving the skippers of there respective teams in (Ravichandran) Ashwin and MS. Not a good look at all," he wrote, referring to the 'mankading' incident involving Kings XI Punjab skipper Ashwin and Jos Buttler.
Former India batsman Aakash Chopra slammed the poor standard of umpiring, but also criticised Dhoni for setting a wrong precedent.
"Umpiring standards have been pretty low in this #IPL and that was a no-ball given and reversed. Enough to feel crossed and miffed. But the opposition captain has no right to walk out on the pitch after being dismissed. Dhoni set a wrong precedent tonight," Chopra tweeted.
Hemang Badani too was surprised by Dhoni's behaviour.
"The umpire is well within his right to overturn a No-Ball or any decision on the field for that matter. Surprised with how Dhoni handled it. It was so unlike Captain Cool #RRvCSK," he also tweeted.handle.
Pragyan Ojha, a left-arm India spinner, also slammed the umpiring standard.
"Umpiring this season has deteriorated! Some times you feel what do you play for, the cup or the fair play award?," he tweeted.
The result took league leaders Chennai to 12 points from seven games, extending their lead over second-placed Kolkata Knight Riders to four points.
The IPL has continued to garner a larger audience with 345 million viewers in India tuning in over the first two weeks, a 14 percent increase from last year for the same period, broadcasters Star Network said.