Something unusual happened in the U-22 C.K. Nayudu Trophy (Central Zone) match between Railways and Uttar Pradesh at the Karnail Singh Stadium on Monday.
There was no match referee for the tie and the two umpires 'substituted' for him. According to rules, any match held under the auspices of the BCCI has to be officiated by a match referee.
When asked about the absence of the match referee, BCCI's chief administrative officer, Ratnakar Shetty said, “Yes, we could not post one for the tie as we are yet to finalise the list.”
On what would have happened had a decision warranted a match referee, Shetty said, “I know it's an issue but we have not been able to finalise the list because the meeting concluded recently.”
Shetty, however, said the issue would be sorted out as quickly as possible. “We will do it at the earliest,” he said.
On Monday, there was chaos at the Karnail Singh Stadium as players and officials of the two sides were seen asking the umpires about the whereabouts of the match referee. The umpires told them that they themselves came to know about it at the last minute.
“We asked the umpires about the match referee and they told us that they would stand in for him,” said UP coach Rohit Talwar. “We made sure to avoid a situation that would warrant the presence of a match referee,” he added.
If this was not enough, the UP team was upset as a box containing six balls went missing after they had mistakenly left it on the ground. When some players asked the ground staff about the box, they were told they knew nothing about it.
Paras Singh, the chief groundsman said he had not found anything on the ground once the players had left. “We didn't find any box or balls, otherwise we would have kept it safely and returned it,” said Singh.
Uttar Pradesh skipper Ravikant Shukla blamed it on the carelessness of his side. “We should be a bit more careful,” Ravikant said.
Meanwhile, UP won the tie by six wickets and garnered five points. UP's Prashant Gupta (69) and Ravikant (63) were instrumental in the team's emphatic six-wicket win.
Railways 1st inn 215 and 211 lost to Uttar Pradesh 1st inn 257 and 196 for 4 (P. Gupta 69, R. Shukla 63; A. Rawat 2 for 53).