April 14, 2000

Ball tampering allegations in Bangladesh League

Controversy struck for the second time in this year's Bangladesh Premier League, when Surjo Torun's captain Minhajul Abedin, one of Bangladesh's most respected cricketers, raised ball tampering allegations against Pakistani left arm spinner Mohammad Hussain, in the Abahani - Surjo Torun clash, on Tuesday. Put into bat first, Abahani unbeaten throughout the tournament, were able to make just 207/9 in their 50 over allotment.

Openers Azam Iqbal (29) and Mehrab Hussain (75) put on 59 runs un 14 overs for Abahani, but then Enamul Haq mesmerized the Abahani line up with his left arm spin, picking up four wickets for 40 runs. Sanchay at no 7 made 25 not out, and with some minor contributions down the order Abahani crawled past the 200 run mark. Surjo Torun's innings had the worst possible start losing three wickets with just 17 on the board.

Al Shahriar and skipper Minhajul Abedin helped take the score to 88 when Mohammad Hussain had Shahriar caught by Minhaz for 33. Torun lost another wicket, that of wicket keeper Khaled Mashud for just 1. With the score on 89/5, Enamul Haque came and backed up his stunning bowling performance with an amazing knock. Abedin still there went on to make 65 before being bowled by Pakistani bowler Waqqas.

After that the productive partnership of 66, the last four wickets tumbled for just seven runs and Enamul Haque was left stranded on the other end with an unbeaten 40. Torun were dismissed for just 169. Very tight bowling from Waqqas (8-1-19-1) and Mohammad Hussain (10-2-18-1) were instrumental in Abahani's 38-run victory which put them on top of the table, undefeated with 18 points.

Naimur Rahman (3/39) picked up the most wickets for Abahani. During the Torun innings, skipper Minhajul Abedin complained that Abahani's Mohammad Hussain had tampered with the ball and asked for the ball to be changed but the umpires, both Pakistani, did not respond at all. Later Abedin claimed that Hussain had lifted the leather off the ball using his nail, but the umpires have once again ignored his appeal. This is the second controversy between the local players and Pakistani imports, the first being the assault on Bangladesh's ace pacer Hasibul Hussain by Zahoor Elahi, to mar this year's one day league.