A shameful state of affairs
Is there anybody in the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to better explain what is happening in the Dhaka Premier League? We are already on the verge of becoming a laughing stock after a series of questionable decisions involving umpires and a particular team. This is something we have been living for years when Bangladesh cricket was almost all about the Dhaka cricket league. The glamorous 50-over competition involving the top clubs, which has provided the backbone of what Bangladesh cricket is today, has never been short of controversy emanating from power struggles.
Over the years we have seen matches being postponed at the drop of a hat, disgruntled fans chasing umpires out of the ground, not to mention the frequent incidents of crowd violence. A few may disagree, but the scenario of Dhaka cricket has significantly changed over the last few years with fans shifting their loyalty to the national team from their respective clubs. A few years ago a top-flight match guaranteed an almost full house. But now the crazed passion has subsided substantially with a few cricket fans turning up to the ground to enjoy a good game and more importantly watch their national heroes in action.
While this change of attitude augurs well for Bangladesh's domestic cricket scenario, there are a few things that have refused to change. For instance, Abahani captain Tamim Iqbal barked like a greyhound at an umpire during his side's match against Prime Doleshwar at the BKSP on Sunday. But what happened after that the cricketing world has never witnessed before. The two on-field umpires apparently after failing to pacify Tamim, who was arguing for a stumping decision, walked off the field.
The departure of the two men in uniform was quite interesting. The incident in question happened in the fourth ball of the 16th over of Doleshwar's innings. But they left the field after conducting the game for another eight deliveries amidst 'a barrage of verbal abuse' from the fielding side. The match referee later reported that the two umpires were 'too sick to conduct the game'.
The drama continued. When many assumed that the match would resume on the reserve day on Monday, it was again put on hold with some wise words from the organisers Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolitan (CCDM): “We have got the match referee's report where it was written the umpires were sick and were unable to conduct the game. We were in doubt whether they (umpires) would be able to continue the game, that's why that match could not take place today [Monday]. We have asked the board to take a decision on this game. We have also communicated with other clubs that apart from this game other matches will go on as scheduled.”
Now think of this game being played anywhere in a cricketing world where there is minimum respect for the laws of the game. First of all, Tamim would not have dared to be involved in such a fierce argument keeping in mind the fear of suspension. Let's forget about how sick the umpires are, officials are not supposed to leave the field unless there is a security issue. Besides, the game's law stipulates that if an umpire is sick, injured or incapable of conducting a game he will be replaced by another umpire to finish the game. And then the decision of the CCDM to put the game on hold and refer it to the apex body for a ruling is a dirty game that is not new to Bangladesh cricket. This whole episode is a clear case of flaunting the laws of a game in every way possible.
It is not a case of blaming Tamim or the two umpires. It's an issue of whether the custodians of the game have the desire and respect to implement the laws as they are meant and duty-bound to do. Recent events show they are clearly not interested. Shame on the CCDM! Shame on BCB.