Bangladesh protests 'biased' umpiring; ICC President threatens to resign
Bangladesh’s first ever knockout World Cup match ended in a 109-defeat to India earlier today, but the aftermath of the match has seen extensive protests from the supporters of the 9th-ranked ODI team. Complaints have been pouring in thick and fast that biased umpiring decisions had a big role to play in deciding the tie in the defending champions’ favour.
Rohit Sharma, India’s batting hero of the day with his 126-ball 137, was given not out on 90 after he holed out to deep mid-wicket off Rubel Hossain’s bowling. Square-leg umpire Aleem Dar felt that the ball had reached the batsman above his waist, and he accordingly ruled it as a no-ball. Replays, however, showed that the ball had been marginally below Rohit’s waist at the point of contact with bat.
Supporters are also aggrieved about the decision that brought an end to Mahmudullah’s innings, their batting hero from the last few matches. Mahmudullah and Soumya Sarkar were trying to resurrect the Bangladesh chase when a Shikhar Dhawan catch at the third man boundary gave Mohammed Shami his first wicket of the match. Replays showed Dhawan’s foot landing perilously close to the boundary rope, but the third umpire Steve Davis ruled in India’s favour.
Bangladesh Planning Minister and ICC President AHM Mustafa Kamal was seen saying on a private Bangladeshi TV channel, “If needed, I will resign from the ICC. I am speaking as a fan, but it has become Indian Cricket Council. Even Indian cricketers are saying the umpires were at fault. There needs to be an investigation. A result was forced on us today.”
Everyone present saw what happened: Mortaza
A peeved Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza spoke on the controversy too, saying: "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.”
When probed further, he said about the Rohit Sharma decision, "Look, a wicket during crucial juncture is always important. At that point of time, we were putting in a lot of pressure on their batsmen. And everyone saw what happened after that."
On the streets of Dhaka, hundreds of supporters went on a protest march, burning effigies of Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar. Dhaka University student Topu Roy was seen holding a placard that dubbed the ICC as the 'Indian Cricket Council' in place of International Cricket Council.
"It was India's money that forced the ICC to work against us. So it's fair to call it Indian Cricket Council," Roy said.
Will appeal against umpiring decisions: BCB
The Bangladesh Cricket Board says it will lodge an appeal against the Rohit Sharma no-ball, and take whatever legal steps are necessary to validate Bangladesh’s best ever World Cup campaign – a campaign that has ended on this sour a note.
"Naturally we will appeal against these decisions in our report," BCB president Nazmul Hassan said. "It won't change the result, unfortunately. One wrong decision can make a huge difference in a World Cup quarter-final.