World Cup

Umpiring in WC match sparks protests in Bangladesh

Bangladesh fans cheer during the quarterfinal match in Melbourne on Thursday.  

Rage in social media continued to mount as mainstream Bangladeshi newspapers on Friday castigated the “poor umpiring” in the World Cup cricket quarterfinal match with India, reflecting a nationwide anger against umpires’ alleged ‘bias’ for Indians.

Most Bangladeshi newspapers carried comments of cricket connoisseurs criticising the umpiring in the Bangladesh-India match to justify the protests with mass circulation Samokal newspapers carried a banner headline saying “The umpires defeated Bangladesh”.

“India, umpires beat Bangladesh in World Cup QF,” read another headline carried by the Dhaka Trubune.

Furious fans continued to ventilate their rage in the social media like Facebook a day after hundreds supporters staged protest marches at different parts of the country including the premier Dhaka University campus where they also burnt an effigy of Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar.

The protest erupted soon after defending champions India on Thursday reached World Cup semifinals with a crushing 109-run win over Bangladesh at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

“The controversies which for sure will continue for many more days was whether an umpiring error helped Rohit to score his first World Cup hundred and denied the Tigers from seizing momentum at a crucial stage or whether inform Mahmudullah Riyad was a bit unlucky when he was given out in dubious circumstances,” the Daily Star newspaper commented.

A controversial decision by square leg umpire Dar first outraged the fans as he called a no-ball for the delivery’s “excessive height” as Imrul Kayes came forward from deep and claimed a catch of Rohit Sharma.

Former Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne, who was on commentary at that time, said: “that should have been a wicket. The ball was under the waist”.

Bangladesh was unable to review the decision, having suffered a line ball LBW review failure earlier in the innings.

As the Facebook and twitters were flooded with angry comments one of the fans wrote “What we saw on Thursday, on three separate occasions, was the Bangladesh team denied a fair hearing”.

“I’ll just talk about the no-ball, since that was the most blatant, and probably the most influential decision,” wrote Shayan S Khan in a Facebook posting.

International Cricket Council (ICC) president Mustafa Kamal, a Bangladeshi, also joined the protest against the Pakistan umpire saying “If needed, I will resign from the ICC. Speaking as fan, it appears to me that it (ICC) has become Indian Cricket Council. There needs to be an investigation. A result was forced on us today,” he told a private TV channel.

ICC differs with own president, backs its umpires

Rejecting its own president’s criticism of the umpiring during Bangladesh’s World Cup quarterfinal loss to India, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said Mustafa Kamal’s outburst against the match officials was “unfortunate” and “baseless”.

“The ICC has noted Mr Mustafa Kamal’s comments, which are very unfortunate but made in his personal capacity. As an ICC President, he should have been more considerate in his criticism of ICC match officials, whose integrity cannot be questioned,” ICC CEO Dave Richardson said in a statement.

“The no-ball decision was a 50-50 call. The spirit of the game dictates that the umpire’s decision is final and must be respected. Any suggestion that the match officials had “an agenda” or did anything other than perform to the best of their ability are baseless and are refuted in the strongest possible terms,” he added.

Claiming to speak as a fan, Kamal, who hails from Bangladesh, had said that the on-field umpiring during the match, which his country lost by 109 runs, was “very poor”.

The bone of contention was a close no-ball reprieve that centurion Rohit Sharma got during the game.

Rohit was on an individual score of 90 and team total on 196 in the 40th over bowled by Rubel Hossain when a marginal ‘no-ball’ call went in favour of the Indian opener. He went on to add another 47 runs in quick time to help India go past the 300-run mark.

Ian Gould was the umpire who adjudged Rubel’s full-toss as waist high ‘no-ball’ with Rohit being holed out at deep mid-wicket boundary. However, TV replays showed that it was a real touch-and-go situation which could have gone either way.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board has stated that it will protest the umpiring in its report to the ICC.

“Naturally we will appeal against these decisions in our report. It won’t change the result, unfortunately. One wrong decision can make a huge difference in a World Cup quarterfinal,” BCB president Nazmul Hassan was quoted as saying by ‘ ESPNCricinfo

“I have had discussions with the ICC president (Mustafa Kamal) as no one else among the senior (ICC) officials were here in Melbourne. Legally what needs to be done, we will do it,” Hassan added.

Kamal said the matter needs to be looked into.

“From what I have seen, the umpiring was very poor. There was no quality in the umpiring. It seemed as if they had gone into the match with something in mind. I am speaking as a fan, not as the ICC president,” Kamal said.

“Umpires may make mistakes. The ICC will see if this was done deliberately. Everything is on record. The ICC has to investigate and inquire the issue to see if there’s anything to it.”

Protests erupted in Bangladesh after the loss with fans voicing their displeasure with the umpiring. Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza had also expressed his displeasure at a few decisions going against his side though he did not say in so many words.

“I don’t want to say anything about the umpiring decisions. Everybody present saw what happened. So it’s not fair on my part to comment on this,” a peeved Mortaza said when asked about the umpire’s decision.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 10:04:54 AM |

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