A unique series of events transpired during the game between Tamim Iqbal's Abahani Limited and Nasir Hossain's Prime Doleshwar in their Super League match at the BKSP yesterday.
Batting first, Abahani were bundled out for 191 in 42.4 overs. In reply, Prime Doleshwar had reached 59 for 2 in 17 overs, after which umpires Gazi Sohel and Tanvir Ahmed left the field.
The official statement from the match referee was that both the umpires had suddenly fallen sick and could not continue the game. Since there was only one reserve umpire present at the venue, the match had to be stopped and will likely be completed today.
Those present at the venue however, would tell you a story much different to that of the match referee's statement.
In the 16th over of the second innings, a stumping decision went against Abahani. Saqlain Sajib was the bowler and the batsman he beat was Rakibul Hasan. The decision angered Abahani's players.
A long discussion ensued between a visibly upset captain Tamim and the umpires. An over later, the umpires decided that they would not continue officiating the match.
According to the match referee, the game is likely to continue today, but he is not certain if it will include the same umpires.
Speaking to The Daily Star, Tamim said that he was surprised to see the way the umpires reacted.
“Firstly, let me say that from what I saw on the field, the batsman was clearly out stumped. Now, even if I had crossed a line with the way I communicated with the umpires, they could have reported against me. If I was guilty, I would have been guilty, but that does not mean that the umpires leave the match.
“Also, the game was stopped twice in the first innings because of a similar incident that took place with Nasir [Hossain] involved. Why didn't the umpires leave then? This does not happen anywhere in the world,” said Tamim.
“Whether I was at fault or not is something for the match referee to decide. All I can say is that my team was ready to continue playing and I don't know why the umpires left,” he added.
Member-secretary of the Bangladesh Cricket Board's umpires committee Sailab Hossain Tutul echoed Tamim's views.
“With all the talk in the media regarding poor umpiring, we wanted to ensure that the Super League goes well. And for that we had decided that only the top umpires of the country would officiate in these games. Both Gazi Sohel and Tanvir Ahmed are a couple of the best umpires we had. They have had international experience as well.
“But honestly speaking, in my 40 years of cricketing experience, I have never seen such an incident take place and this only further puts pressure on the umpire's committee,” said Tutul.
Tutul further said that the umpires should have handled the high-pressure game in a much better way. “Players can always have their say. Now if this was the case of a player pushing or shoving an umpire or something similar, I would have understood the umpire's reasoning. But it wasn't anything like that,” said Tutul.
The umpires in question could not be reached for comments.