Bangladesh v England, 2nd Test, Dhaka, 3rd day March 22, 2010

Shakib blames board for lack of review system

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Bangladesh's captain, Shakib Al Hasan, blamed the Bangladesh Cricket Board for failing to pay for the use of the Umpire Review Decision System, after his side's hopes of an historic maiden Test victory over England were undermined by a succession of rough umpiring decisions that allowed their opponents to graft their way to a 21-run lead with two first-innings wickets remaining.

Shakib himself led from the front, claiming 4 for 99 in 57 overs of relentlessly accurate left-arm spin, but the talking points of the day were the ones that got away. Each of England's three key contributors on the third day - Bell, Tim Bresnan and Matt Prior - received a let-off that enabled them to post at least another fifty runs, and in the cases of Bresnan and Prior, neither man had made it into double figures at the moment that their good fortune struck.

"It could have been a little bit better, and if it was a little better, we would have got a chance to bat today," said Shakib. "You know what the decisions were and what they should have been, but I don't want to make any comment. You all saw it on the TV."

For the record, Matt Prior was trapped on the crease on 9 by a reverse-swinging delivery from Rubel and went on to make 62; Bresnan survived a bat-pad catch on 5 before finishing the day on 74 not out, while Bell's innings could have ended on 82 had an lbw appeal by Abdur Razzak been upheld.

That final decision prompted Bangladesh's coach, Jamie Siddons, to march out of the dressing-room and gesticulate his disgust to the umpires. "There were probably three or four decisions I was unhappy with," Siddons told the BBC. "Hindsight makes it easy for me to be critical but that's the game. Umpires do make mistakes, but it made it hard for us today but we're still in the game, it's still pretty even."

Nevertheless, in Shakib's opinion, the blame lay less with the umpires, Rod Tucker and Tony Hill, and more with the board who baulked at the prospect of paying for the umpiring technology, but were nevertheless happy to pay to have the stadium facilities repainted overnight and decked out in flowers, to welcome the arrival of the ICC president, David Morgan.

"If they had taken the referral system, they would have had to spend some money because the system is expensive," he said. "But, yes, I think it was more important for us [than all these flowers]."

I think we would have asked for a referral four times with full confidence, and three of them would have come to our way for sure
Shakib Al Hasan rues Bangladesh's luck

"We would have been in a very good position if [UDRS] was in use here," he said. "I think we would have asked for a referral four times with full confidence, and three of them would have come to our way for sure. It's really bad for us that we did not use the referral system, which we could have done."

Bangladesh's sense of injustice was also ramped by Andy Flower's pre-series suggestion that weaker teams are less likely to be given the benefit of the doubt by the umpires. "I've felt that my whole career," said Siddons. "I definitely never felt Australia were on the wrong end but, with Bangladesh, I definitely think it comes out against us. I don't know why.

"The spirit was down this afternoon but they fought back and they seem pretty positive about what they can do in the next two days. England have got to bat last but hopefully we don't let them put on too many runs for the last two wickets."

As and when England do bat again, and assuming they are set a defendable target, then Shakib will be demanding a greater contribution from his fellow left-arm spinner, Abdur Razzak, whose 37 overs were milked for 127 runs, with only the wicket of Alastair Cook to show for his efforts. The pre-match plan had been for both spinners to operate in tandem, but Shakib instead had to rely on the reverse-swing of Rubel Hossain to keep England under wraps as the day wore on.

"I was expecting more from Razzak, especially when we both were bowling," said Shakib. "It was very important to have a partnership between us to create pressure from both ends, but he ended up making the same mistakes from the first Test, because the main thing is patience. Whoever loses his patience first will be a loser. Maybe he thought he'd try to bowl wicket-balls, but every time he conceded a four, the pressure came off."

In mitigation, the conditions were not as spin-friendly as had been predicted, but that did not surprise Shakib in the slightest. "Whenever we hear the ball will spin, it doesn't," he said. "It's nothing new and I am not too disappointed with it, although we have been playing Test match cricket for 10 years, so we should know by now how to take this advantage. When we go to England, they are sure to prepare a bouncy wicket for us.

"Still, everything is possible - win, draw or loss," said Shakib. "I don't think we are in a very bad position, because the match is still very balanced and both teams are under pressure. But we have more pressure, because we cannot always play consistently well."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo. Go to http://twitter.com/miller_cricket to follow him on Twitter through the England tour of Bangladesh.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • R.B.TIGER on March 24, 2010, 4:58 GMT

    Its nice to see that Tigers are playing with 11 players while England is with that of 13 !!!!!!!!!!!! Cheers England !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • tareks_bangladesh on March 23, 2010, 16:19 GMT

    Hi. just saw Billy Signaling Four in a Domestic Cricket League of our neighboring country. ICC Elite Panel Umpires are busy in a Elite job. Ultimately money and capitalism are everything ….screw Test cricket….screw Bangladesh…..Doesn't matter if they come up as a competitive Test nation….guys let me tell u one thing for this kind of elitism where ICC and major nations are reluctant to help out an emerging one and happy to keep the game within a few nation, this Sport has bad really bad time waiting…people are now cheering flood of Sixes and Fours…but for how long? These six and fours will get boring one day…..yester hat has happened, I wish that wouldn't have any long term impact on this Young Bangladeshi team….They played their heart out…and make no mistake…they could have 150 runs 1st innings lead and now that would stand in 300 runs lead…but whatever these doesn't matter….I wish one thing that when people from other countries can't help us….stop criticizing us…u don't have any right

  • number-09 on March 23, 2010, 13:13 GMT

    msvknight- A bit of an asinine comment, don't you think? Andy flower is in the best position to speak about unfair decisions against weaker teams. He played and captained one. Now he is coach of a stronger team and is experiencing the these decisions from the other side. only this time it is in favor. Have you played any kind of international cricket to experience what he has experienced? He was being frank and you normally would not get that from the coach of a stronger team.

  • Ozcricketwriter on March 23, 2010, 12:51 GMT

    Let's just make things simple - the referral system should be in for ALL international matches, ESPECIALLY for tests. The system isn't perfect but it is better than not having it. Dissent issues are basically gone with because players can just call for a referral and then its their own fault if they waste their referrals then get bad decisions later. The umpires get a lot more respect and woeful decisions either don't get made at all or else get overturned and the umpires dealt with. In every way it is better. I don't know if we can say outright that it has cost Bangladesh this test match but it certainly will be a talking point - while if the referral system was in, it wouldn't be an issue. Put in the referral system for ALL MATCHES and all talk of things being "unfair" are gone. Then there are luck and bad decisions made by the players - and ideas of bad mistakes by umpires costing them are gone. Put it in for all matches now.

  • vikram1729 on March 23, 2010, 7:26 GMT

    a straight no-non-sense talk from Shakib - not being a bit "politically correct". hope bangladesh goes on to register a draw- if not a win!

  • dummy4fb on March 23, 2010, 6:47 GMT

    Andy Flower is right. It is obvious that over many years Australia have been the main beneficiary of incorrect decisions followed by England and South Africa. Teams from the Indian Subcontinent seem to have suffered.

  • hjfaruq on March 23, 2010, 6:23 GMT

    It was much pretty for England that both umpires were paralyzed to up their hand in case of lbw decisions against appeal of bangladeshi bowlers. That's a great win to have the umpires' favor!!!.......Cheers England...

  • khobornai on March 23, 2010, 4:57 GMT

    totally agree with Shakib. My heart goes for the tiger boys who gave their best in the field. Why do we have to repaint the stadium for the visit of ICC president ? Would Australia or England do the same in a similar situation ? A win by Bangladesh team would have impressed ICC president more than anything else. BD cricket board must come out of this unwarranted inferiority complex and do something that helps the team.

  • SsBang on March 23, 2010, 3:53 GMT

    This is how it goes!! So sorry to say that!!! A poor nation is at mercy of the powerfu in every facet of life. Not only in sports. Wonder how long our cricket team will have to endure this injustice??

  • irrationale on March 23, 2010, 3:39 GMT

    FINALLY Bangladesh has an outspoken captain, and more importantly one who knows how much speaking is enough and not too much.. The greater cricketing community should realize that ultimately these ludicrous decisions mean even further pressure on the country to perform better at the test level because at the end of the day it's only the actual result that will be remembered and not what could be. So the frustration caused by these decisions is just that much more on the home team. Hopefully Bangladesh can look beyond all this and hit back in a stronger fashoin on day 4 and 5. Andy Flower in the meantime has a LOT to think about...

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