IPL 2009: Shane Warne and The Beer Controversy

Rocky GettersSenior Writer IMay 7, 2009

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 18:  Shane Warne of Rajasthan bowls during the IPL T20 match between Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore at Newlands Cricket Ground on April 18, 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa.  (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

It seems that the IPL just can't stay away from controversies. The latest one to hit the cricket extravaganza is an incident involving the Australian legend and Rajasthan Royal captain Shane Warne.

Here's what happened in brief.

In the IPL match earlier today, Shane Warne was on the boundary line, when the cameras captured him taking a little sip of beer which was given to him by a spectator.

Nothing happened really; he looked to the crowds, someone offered him a fine glass of cold beer, keeping one eye on the game he slyly took a sip, and then like a gentleman that he is... he returned the glass to the spectator, and carried on.

Some of the media has made a meal of this, and questioned his ethics, his on-field conduct, and transformed his five-second beer episode into a royal beer saga.

First things first. Shane Warne shouldn't have done it. Looking at how tight the points table is right now, the skipper should well and truly concentrate on his team than his alcohol. And having a sip of beer while on the field is anything but justified.

But is it really such a huge, unforgivable offense? Its not as if he was drunk and making a scene on the field. Besides, isn't T20 seen as a crowd-pleaser version of cricket, and there's a lot more room for having fun and interacting with the crowds.

The argument media channels are putting up, is that Shane Warne is a cricket legend and a role model and he shouldn't behave this way. Ahem.... anyone who has followed Shane Warne knows he is far from being a role model. He is a colorful personality and has always done what he wants.

That doesn't justify what he has done, but what's the point in making an issue out of this?

When the Rajasthan Royals team owner Shilpa Shetty was asked about this, she said he was just having fun, and there was no need really for any controversy.

Are we as media making a habit of making an issue out of nothing?

Shouldn't we focus on the "sport of cricket" in IPL, rather than who wears what and who drinks what kind of gossip?

Or is Shane Warne really guilty of something big here?