Outrage in Dhaka over no-ball, BCB to lodge appeal
The BCB has said it will lodge an appeal against the umpiring decision in Thursday's match that let Rohit Sharma off the hook, and do whatever is legally necessary. The decision prompted an angry response in Bangladesh, with expressions of outrage from several quarters and an unusually sharp outburst from the ICC president AHM Mustafa Kamal, who said that it appeared as though the umpires had come to the game with an agenda.
Moments after Rohit was caught off a Rubel Hossain full-toss in the 40th over, umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Gould signaled no-ball but replays suggested that the ball was only waist-high when contact was made and on its way down. Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza talked to Dar briefly and later, in the post-match press conference, steered away from direct criticism of the umpires.
The battle was taken up by officials and former officials. "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. I have had discussions with the ICC president (Mustafa Kamal) as no one else among the senior (ICC) officials were here in Melbourne. Legally what needs to be done, we will do it."
Kamal, a planning minister in the current Bangladesh government and a former BCB president, was more strident. He told Bangladeshi TV reporters outside the MCG that the ICC should investigate the matter, and questioned whether the decisions were "deliberate or not". He however said he was speaking as a "fan" and not as the current ICC president.
"From what I have seen, the umpiring was very poor," Kamal said. "There was no quality in the umpiring. It seemed as if they had gone into the match with something in mind. I am speaking as a fan, not as the ICC president. Umpires may make mistakes. The ICC will see if this was done deliberately. Everything is on record. The ICC has to investigate and inquire the issue to see if there's anything to it."
Kamal said that the backlash about the umpiring would compel the ICC into seeking further information on the issue. He also said he believed that other teams like Australia and South Africa would react similarly if they were also victims of poor umpiring decisions.
"I am talking about the overall umpiring. I saw what all of you saw. Before I go to the next ICC board meeting, I can't speak on their behalf. We are an ICC member, right? So we can't talk like this against the ICC. They will review it. Everyone is speaking against the umpires so definitely the ICC will find out whether there was any wrongdoings."
The reaction was similarly strong back home in Bangladesh. In the Dhaka University area, an effigy was seen burning with protesters chanting the names of the two on-field umpires of the World Cup quarter-final. There were processions in some parts of Dhaka and, according to TV reports, in other parts of the country too.
Former Bangladesh batsman Athar Ali Khan wrote in his Facebook account of his distress at the no-ball decision, posting the following message: "Shocked & still cannot believe that the leg umpire called that a no-ball. Why no one is talking about this?"
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84