June 17, 2009


Saqib Ali banned for a year after umpire attack

Martin Williamson

UAE international Saqib Ali has been banned for a year after he was found guilty of attempting to assault an umpire during a local Twenty20 cup tie.

The Dubai-based National newspaper reported that Saqib had a heated argument with Mohammed Asif, who was standing as the square-leg umpire, after an appeal for a catch behind was turned down by Asif's colleague. It is claimed that Saqib then grabbed a bail and threw it at the umpire - it missed, but Saqib had to be hauled away by team-mates.

"We do not tolerate such on-field behaviour from any player," Wajahat Husain, the new president of the Abu Dhabi Cricket Council, told the newspaper.

The ban means he will miss the ACC Twenty20 Cup and World Twenty20 Qualifiers, as well as most of UAE's Intercontinental Cup matches.

He does have the right to appeal.


Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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Posted by adarsh on (September 18, 2009, 11:39 GMT)

I feel once a bunch of cricketers r selected they shd b given jobs wherin they can concentrate only on cricket & be in touch with cricket thru out rather then practicing when the tournaments comes up. I feel the board out here r more interested in arranging matches for other countries rather then improving the standards of the UAE team.Abt the umpires, they r ok not intl stds, many of them they make their living thru match fee.sad 2 know they r not in councils payroll.

Posted by Salman Farooq on (July 10, 2009, 19:03 GMT)

hehaheah....what am i talking about, im talking about the level of umpiring in the country, im talking about the knowledge of that umpire standing in the match, im talking about the panel of umpires in the country and the way the board deals with these issues. Im sure u guys arent playing here...the umpires here dont turn up for the matches on time, but they have never been banned..... Saqib has beeen penalised thats great....but what about other issues concerning the game in the country??? they should even be talking about cricket in this country.... u need to play here to understand how u need to deal with umpires ;)....if talking about cricket in general yes that was an offense, but when considering cricket in UAE dnt take it too seriously

Posted by vinod nair on (June 29, 2009, 9:02 GMT)

How does it matter whether the umpire wears bracelets or lipstick! The fact remains that he threw a bail and has been penalised...fair call..In a country where the quality of cricket isnt that great ..so is the standard of umpiring ...that doesnt justify the offence..hope the administrators dont back down and pardon him.

Posted by Noman on (June 27, 2009, 6:56 GMT)

""Mohammed Asif, who was standing as the square-leg umpire"

Is that what he's up to these days?"


Well, you forget that he is banned from entering the country.

Posted by Ben on (June 27, 2009, 6:09 GMT)

Salman Farooq...what are you talking about? If the guy threw a bail at the umpire then what disciplinary action do you think should be taken? Players can get fined/suspended in international cricket just for verbally questioning an umpires decision...so of course the action for attempting to physically assault an umpire was going to be severe. What is your point regarding the chains and bracelets the umpire wears, I think it is you who does not understand the rules. Just because he is "the best player" doesn't mean he can do what he wants. Maybe this is a cultural difference but if UAE want to be involved with international sport they will have to understand how international sport is run.

Posted by Salman Farooq on (June 17, 2009, 23:01 GMT)

I don't agree with this ban, i am currently playing for the U.A.E team and have represented the country in tournaments like the Asia Cup, the ACC Elite trophy and ICC Intercontinental cup. This person "Saqib Ali" is the best player in U.A.E, its great that the board has taken a disciplinary action against a player but why did it start with Saqib, the best in the country??, just because they want to prove a point and the umpire that we're talking about wears at least 10 bracelets in his hands and has at least 15 chains around his neck while standing in a match, so firstly we need to make the umpires understand what cricket actually is and the rules.Ive played with Saqib and i can guarantee that when he is in a game he is totally involved in it, "Saqib I feel sorry for you and the country because this system here will never let cricket develop and once ure back after a year you wont have the same fire in you"but that's been the case with most of the players. WELCOME TO U.A.E Cricket ;)

Posted by Brian Lee on (June 17, 2009, 15:13 GMT)

"Mohammed Asif, who was standing as the square-leg umpire"

Is that what he's up to these days?

Posted by Terry Jones on (June 17, 2009, 13:21 GMT)

I agree with the ban. However, I have always been advocate of an on-field send-off rule, where if a player places another player or official in danger intentionally, then they can be sent off the field ... players (in particular bowlers) could in theory use poor sportsmen tactics to take their opponents out of the game ... "honour" of cricket isn't shared by all people, and umpires should be able to use a Yellow & Red card system to remove players that are using a strategy that could injure (or worse) another person.

Posted by osama anwer on (June 17, 2009, 12:49 GMT)

this news was very guilty..i don't care whether he from Pakistan or any part of the world..this should not be happen in this game..i always say to my juniors that this is a game so play it as a game don't get panic specially on umpires bcoz if a player don't obey umpire's decision,same things will happen..today it was only umpire tomorrow the whole team will fight with opposition..

In short,i completely with the management to put a banned on that victim..I suggest it should be more than one yr..

Posted by Abas Zevrep on (June 16, 2009, 19:03 GMT)

I'm sorry but that is funny. He deserves the ban though since he's not new to cricket considering that he's Pakistani. He should know the rules.

And to answer Habieb's question, yes he's Pakistani and has played for Rawalpindi.

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Martin Williamson
Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.

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