In one of the more comical moments of IPL 2020, Aaron Finch, the RCB batsman, was caught on camera vaping in the dressing room, during the second innings of their clash against Rajasthan Royals.
The moment was fleeting, but it didn’t escape the countless hawk-eyed fans on Twitter, who immediately clipped the moment, and spread it around on social media.
It happened in the final over of the RCB chase, with AB de Villiers going gung-ho in the middle. It was after the first ball of the over, off which Gurkeerat Singh had ran two, and with RCB needing eight from the remaining five balls, the camera panned to each camp.
— you (@_thatUtsavOjha) October 17, 2020
In the RCB dressing room, the camera inadvertently caught Finch and Shahbaz Ahmed watching the proceedings. Finch, who was indoors, was then seen exhaling smoke, and taking another puff, before the camera quickly cut away back to the action.
Finch isn’t the first cricketer to have a smoke during match, with one of the more well-known tales coming from Brendon McCullum, who couldn’t bare to watch the tense final stages of New Zealand’s epic World Cup 2015 semi-final victory against South Africa, and revealed he was sat in the dressing room toilets, “smoking and listening to the crowd”.
Ben Stokes also admitted to smoking a cigarette in the Lord’s showers before returning to bat in the super over in last year’s World Cup final.
In a less savoury incident, during the 2017/18 Ashes, Shaun Marsh and Jackson Bird were caught on camera smoking in public, prompting an outcry from Australian health experts, all the way up to the president of the Australian Medical Association.
Whether Finch’s faux pas leads to a similar reaction remains to be seen.