Umps' urgency to expel racists wins over visitors
There were high-fives and congratulations being passed on at the end of the day's play but rather than celebrating a win at the end of a match, it was the umpires who were at the receiving end of words of thankfulness.
Recently, racist chants against Real Madrid superstar Vinicius Jr. brought the problem of racism back into the limelight in the world of sport and in Sylhet, where only a few were present in the stands, racist remarks hurled at Windies A players on day two were a lot more pronounced due to the empty arena.
This time, unlike in the Vinicius incident, the umpires stepped in.
Visiting captain Joshua Da Silva inquired about the chants, not completely clear on what he was hearing, but on-field umpire Masudur Rahman's walkie-talkie was malfunctioning so he could not catch the attention of the groundstaff.
Soon, however, the umpire stepped in and brought it to the third-umpire's attention quickly and the fans chanting racial slurs were evicted.
"There were some unfortunate chants coming from the stands on the second day and the Windies A skipper brought it to the umpires' attention. The situation was handled quickly. Since the matter falls under racism, we dealt with it according to ICC protocols. Thanks to the West Indies team, umpires as well as security officials," match referee Neeyamur Rashid told The Daily Star.
Although Da Silva did not quite comprehend the words that were being aimed at his team, the body language from the visitors showed they were uncomfortable.
"Their captain really appreciated how we dealt with the situation and the players personally came to shake my hand. After the day's play, their coach came and thanked me and the whole team of match officials. We were lucky that our people reacted quickly and handled the situation quickly," on-field umpire Masudur told The Daily Star.
Da Silva had commented at the end of the second day's play at Sylhet that he was a bit disappointed.
"It's always disappointing when those things [racist remarks] come about and I'm very happy it was dealt with in a very quick and speedy manner," Da Silva had told Cricfrenzy.
The camaraderie between the two sides was evident throughout the series and the umpires ensured that the game went on in the right spirit.
Since racist incidents are rare occurrences in the sports arena in the country, the umpires had a hard task on their hands, especially in terms of dealing with the matter strongly. As with occurrences of racism, often there is a tendency to sweep things under the rug. This time, things were done right. "They appreciated us and there were high-fives at the end of the day's play," Masudur added.