Bangladesh news April 13, 2017

Four balls, 92 runs, one bizarre scorecard

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File photo - Sujon Mahmud conceded 92 runs off four legal deliveries in a Second Division Dhaka League match © Getty Images

A bowler conceded 92 runs off just four legal deliveries as one of cricket's strangest scorecards emerged from Bangladesh's domestic cricket this week. Sujon Mahmud, playing for Lalmatia Club in the Dhaka league's third tier, gave away 65 wides and bowled 15 no-balls in an over that eventually lasted 20 balls. It meant Axiom Cricketers chased down their 89-run target in less than an over, in an innings that lasted 17 minutes, at the City Club ground in Dhaka on April 11.

Mahmud's bowling, it later emerged, was a form of protest against what Lalmatia alleged to be biased umpiring during the game and throughout this season's competition. Lalmatia were bowled out for 88.

"It started at the toss," Adnan Ahmed, Lalmatia's general secretary told Dhaka Tribune. "My captain was not allowed to see the coin and we were sent to bat first and as expected, the umpires' decisions came against us. My players are young, aged around 17, 18 and 19. They could not tolerate the injustice and thus reacted by giving away 92 runs in four deliveries."

This is not an isolated incident. Earlier this month, the daily New Age reported a scorecard from the same tier of the competition that was manipulated to reflect fewer lbw decisions during a relegation play-off match between Kathalbagan Green Crescent Club and North Bengal Cricket Academy at the Jahangirnagar University ground. According to screenshots from the BCB's official scoring site, there were four lbws at 11.55am, six at 12.39pm, and five at 1.32pm in the game on April 4.

Screenshots of the scorecard from the match between Kathalbagan Green Crescent and North Bengal, at 11.55am (left) and 12.39pm (right) © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

There have been several more complaints about poor umpiring in the Dhaka league system this season and in the last few years, including in the 2016 Dhaka Premier League which is Bangladesh's main domestic tournament, given List A status.

Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis (CCDM) chairman Gazi Golam Mortaza said on Tuesday that his proposal of letting CCDM appoint umpires to each league match wasn't taken into consideration.

"The only solution is for the CCDM to take charge of the umpires during the league. I also proposed that we pick umpires through a lottery, which will take place in front of both team officials the day before their game," Mortaza told the Bengali daily Prothom Alo. "But these proposals weren't approved.

"We don't get any response from the umpires committee despite repeated calls. We have also requested them several times but to no avail. They insist that appointing umpires is in their jurisdiction, but this is not going to solve anything. CCDM has to decide which umpires will stand for each match."

The Dhaka league system consists of four tournaments, with the Premier League at the top, and the First, Second and Third Divisions below it. The top two teams in each division are promoted and the bottom two relegated.

10.45pm GMT - This piece was edited to reflect the number of balls as 20. It was earlier mentioned as 84 balls.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Martin on April 15, 2017, 16:39 GMT

    @JOSE...P - There are provisions in the laws (there are NOT 'rules') to have prevented this from continuing from an early stage and to prevent bowlers bowling unlimited wides and no balls. There is no "loophole in the rule-book", as you state. The fielding side could have been penalised by the umpires under the Spirit of Cricket provisions (which are enshrined in cricket law) and their judgement of Fair and Unfair play. In addition, when they realised what was developing as a result of the bowlers' behaviour, they should have pressed the fielding captain to confirm if his wish was to forfeit the match and if so, they should have discontinued the match at that point and awarded it to the batting side under Law 21. Umpires are appointed to manage and control the match from the moment they arrive on the ground to the moment they leave. Players are selected to play - if they don't 'buy' into the concept of umpire management and control, then just don't turn up. It's a simple principle.

  •   cricfan69564930 on April 15, 2017, 12:35 GMT

    this game was not played in the spirit of cricket and should be struck from the record...also,given the umpire call all wides and no-balls they did that part of their jobs with scrupulous integrity

  • carl on April 14, 2017, 12:25 GMT

    It was allowed to go on? i think the men in white coats should have been sent out on the field to sort of 'take the situation away to a nicer place' - so ridiculous

  • Six on April 14, 2017, 11:00 GMT

    If a wide crosses the boundary it's 5 wide Sagar. 1 is the penalty for the wide. So it a wide is bowled down the leg side and the batsmen run 3 it's 4 wides. So if it crosses the boundary it's 5 wides.

  • Niaz on April 14, 2017, 10:30 GMT

    The calculation is simple. 13 wide balls, each crossing the boundary line (13*5=65). 15 no balls, suppose 15 runs. Total at this point is 80. The four legal deliveries give 12 runs... voila

  • Sagar Keni on April 14, 2017, 10:22 GMT

    If a wide ball crosses the boundary, it is 4 wides so in one ball there could be 5 wides. in 13 Balls there can be 65 wide runs and no legal delivery.

  • Rawal on April 14, 2017, 9:21 GMT

    "... gave away 65 wides and bowled 15 no-balls in an over that eventually lasted 20 balls. It meant Axiom Cricketers chased down their 89-run target in less than an over, in an innings that lasted 17 minutes.... "

    Somebody please explain, how can an over only be as long as 20 balls when it contains 65 wides and 15 no-balls? Also, how could the whole inning then have lasted only for 17 minutes?

  • Martin on April 14, 2017, 8:10 GMT

    @ROWAYTON - You are perfectly correct. Also, a lot of people are making a lot of assumptions as to what happened. A lot has been made of the umpires "not allowing one of the captains to see the coin at the toss". Big deal. It happens across the world in tens of thousands of matches at recreational level that an umpire picks up the coin and advises the captains who has won the toss and no one questions the situation. So that side's management is basically questioning the integrity and honesty of the umpires from the outset. A disgrace. The umpires could also have prevented this stupidity from developing at an early stage by invoking the laws of fair and unfair play and Spirit of Cricket.

  • Mohammad Subail on April 14, 2017, 6:37 GMT

    @All, you all are misunderstanding the situation. If the incidents occurred wrongly no one will protest. Human are not perfect. Trust our umpires are not bad at all. The key facts that they are pushed to give some decisions from higher. And players are bound to play because of punishment- like direct relegation. Such incidents are going since 4 years and at last some players tried to protest. Thank you. This report is only showing you the incidents not the root cause.

  • Mohammad Subail on April 14, 2017, 6:31 GMT

    @Isam, pls try to point out the reason behind poor umpiring rather shows the incompetency of the umpire. These type of incidents are ongoing since 4 years to get certain teams to be benefited. Our umpiring is not too bad. Prothom Alo has written some names but you have written only the incident.

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