Bangladesh takes on India in ‘Nidahas’ final Cricket often conjures up images of a good-natured sporting contests in contrast to football or rugby. But Friday’s altercation between players and officials seem to signal that those days of the gentleman’s game are over. It is usually match officials who are responsible for calming things down when [...]


Shakib escapes with fine and a demerit point; Kusal Mendis goes unscathed

What happens to an erring umpire?

Bangladesh takes on India in ‘Nidahas’ final

Open Sesemi gone wrong: The entrance door of the dressing room smashed to smithereens by the Bangladesh team - Pic AFP

Cricket often conjures up images of a good-natured sporting contests in contrast to football or rugby. But Friday’s altercation between players and officials seem to signal that those days of the gentleman’s game are over.

It is usually match officials who are responsible for calming things down when the heat of the moment gets the better of players. But who will bring back the decorum when the umpires are the ones involved in the conflict?

Bangladesh needed 12 runs off the last over to deny Sri Lanka a berth in Sunday’s final. When Isuru Udana sent down two consecutive balls over shoulder-height, it was expected that second one would be called a no-ball as only one shoulder-height delivery is allowed in an over.

When the second ball was sent down to Mustafizur Rahman, the square-leg umpire appeared to have called a no-ball but the decision was overturned after a discussion with the head umpire since no warning had given to the bowler after the first bouncer.

Bangladeshi players then responded angrily with substitutes charging into the middle and skipper Shakib Al Hasan was seen repeatedly ordering the two batsmen off the ground.

There was attempted aggressive bodily contact, yelling, finger-pointing, unclothing and even a shattered dressing room door. A match ban was widely expected for those involved in the ugly fracas but they escaped with a fine. The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Saturday said that Captain Hasan and Nurul Hasan admitted to breaching the ICC’s code of ethics in separate incidents.

“Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan and reserve player Nurul Hasan have both been fined 25 per cent of their match fees and also received one demerit point for breaching Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct in separate incidents during their side’s Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Friday,” the ICC said in a statement. The Sri Lankan players, including Kusal Mendis who was seen in a heated argument with a Bangladeshi player at the end of the match, escaped without punishment.

The decision comes after Sri Lanka Cricket officially complained to ICC and Bangladesh Cricket Board about damage of stadium property. When reporters questioned his conduct during the post-match press conference, Shakib admitted that the heat of the moment had got the better of players and vowed not to repeat it.

‘”Many things happened that shouldn’t have happened.,” he said, apologetically. “I need to remain calm. I was overjoyed. Excitement was there. I must know how to react next time. I will be careful.”

“I don’t want to talk about it, but what happened was that the square-leg umpire called a no-ball and after a discussion they cancelled it,” he said. “I didn’t think it was the right decision. I don’t know what happened after the first ball, which was a bouncer. But after the second ball, the umpire called a no-ball. We are all human, we should take it in the chin and move forward.”

The tension was high between the two sides after Mushfiqur Rahim led Bangladesh to a record chase in their opening encounter in the tri-nation series and celebrated it with a cobra dance. As much as it was a bitter pill to swallow for the hosts, it was sweet revenge for the men in green, who were at the receiving end during the recent Sri Lanka tour of Bangladesh. This was after Sri Lanka Cricket enticed Chandika Hathurusingha, who was Bangladesh’s designated coach till the 2019 World Cup, to decamp to the Sri Lankan side in December.

“What happens on the field should stay on the field and honestly, we [Bangladesh and Sri Lanka] are very good friends, not just the players but also the cricket boards. We have helped each other in terms of crisis. If you see there are so many Sri Lankan players who play in our leagues, in the BPL too, we have some very good relations with them. On the field, of course, I want my team to win and it applies to them too. I am sure that both the teams will take it in the right spirit and the on-field incident won’t affect the off-field relation.”

India will hold a psychological advantage over Bangladesh in the title decider today as they have an unblemished record of 7-0 in T20’s against Bangladesh. But Rohit Sharma led India will not take Bangladesh likely after the latter stunned hosts twice in the series.

BCB regrets unfortunate events during Nidahas Trophy match on Friday

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) regrets the unfortunate happenings during Friday’s Nidahas Trophy match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The Board accepts that conduct of the Bangladesh Team in certain instances was unacceptable on a cricket field. We understand that the events may have transpired due to the importance of the match and the pressure that comes with it but feel that the expected level of professionalism was not exhibited by the team while dealing with a tense situation in the game. The Bangladesh Team members have been reminded of their responsibility in upholding the spirit of cricket at all times.
The BCB and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) have a lasting bond which has a deep-rooted history of support and cooperation and the players of both sides continue to share an excellent relationship that gets stronger by the day.
We look forward to a riveting end to the Nidahas Trophy which has been a brilliantly organised tournament. It has been very competitive and well received by cricket fans around the world and the SLC deserves every praise for that. The Bangladesh Team is proud to be associated with this competition.

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