Mumbai Indians all-rounder Kieron Pollard's over-the-top celebration to send off Rajasthan Royals batsman Shane Watson in an IPL match here has invited strong criticism from visiting team's skipper Rahul Dravid who termed it as an "act of cowardice".
"One of the things that I find when you send off batsman after you have got him out is that it is an act of cowardice. That is my personal opinion. Batsman can never respond after you have got him out and you send him off," said the former India captain in the post-match media conference last night.
"Saying something on the field is part and parcel of the game. Having a chat, a bit of banter while the game is on is fine but my personal opinion is that when you send a batsman off after you have got him out is an act of cowardice," Dravid said in a strong reaction to the incident at the Wankhede Stadium.
It started when Pollard said something to Watson who had just come out to bat, and a miffed Australian all-rounder retorted leading to a verbal spat. On-field umpires had to intervene and separate the two players before the incident got ugly.
Watson was later caught by Pollard and the West Indian gave the batsman a send-off with his hand gesture after celebrating the dismissal.
Dravid also felt that the umpires could have handled the situation better.
"I guess it was a competitive game. Things can get tough in a T20 game. These things can happen, so I wasn't very surprised. I thought it could have been managed a little bit better. In terms the way the umpires managed it, it could have been managed a lot better. It's the way things are sometimes. Things can get heated in the middle," he said.
The unsavoury episode also invited the ire of the match referee who hauled up the home team skipper Rohit Sharma and the errant fielder in a hearing after the game.