They can be fair too! | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 09, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 09, 2018

They can be fair too!

There were huge concerns that yet more favouritism would play a role in the last Super League game of the First Division League between Rupganj Tigers Club and Partex Sporting Club, especially with promotion to the Premier Division League at stake.

After Agrani Bank CC shockingly lost the previous game against Old DOHS by conceding a last-over maiden when they needed just four runs to win with two set batsmen at the crease, the equation changed drastically in the league.

With their win, Old DOHS became champions with 29 points and became the first team to secure promotion to the Premier League.

It was learned that higher-ups in the cricketing fraternity had wanted Agrani Bank to lose their game deliberately and also that they would try and favour Rupganj in the final game and ensure their promotion.

The officials of Partex Club seemed concerned that they would probably be victims of favouritism yesterday and their anxiety only intensified when they saw two of the most controversial umpires, Shah Alam and Saidur Rahman, step out to officiate the game.

The atmosphere at the BKSP-3 ground was electric, but both the umpires conducted the game in a fair manner through their decisions, which interestingly seemed to anger Rupganj officials, players and team boys.

There were a few incidents when the umpires turned down quite a few appeals from Rupganj, who were defending a small target of 210 runs.

At one point in the middle of the game, the Rupganj players even decided to leave the ground in protest upon instructions from an official after umpire Alam rightfully denied an appeal for a catch, which had hit the batsman's pads before going to the leg slip fielder.

One of the Rupganj team boys was even overheard saying: "Why is this umpire favouring them? He was supposed to favour us. Maybe he did not give that a catch but he could have given that a leg before as the ball hit the pads."

After a break of nearly five minutes however, the Rupganj players resumed play but that official was threatening the umpire from the boundary rope, saying that he would see the umpire once the match was finished.

Without any intentional errors from the umpires, Partex eventually managed to chase down the target in 44.3 overs for the loss of seven wickets. Opener Sayem Alam smashed a hundred.

It came as a huge relief for the officials of Partex who, despite all the concerns, went on to become runners-up and promoted to the Premier League.

It was nice to see that the umpires who have been embroiled in such controversy remained fair, but the negative reaction from players and officials was not wholly unexpected, especially since they have been used to witnessing favouritism for so long.

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