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WC: Protests in Bangladesh over Rohit Sharma 'no-ball' decision

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza on Thursday expressed his displeasure at a few decisions going against his side in their 109-thrashing by India in the 2015 World Cup quarterfinal match in Melbourne, though he did not say in so many words.

WorldCup2015 Updated: Mar 20, 2015 12:11 IST
Bangladesh,India,Rohit Sharma

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza on Thursday expressed his displeasure at a few decisions going against his side in their 109-thrashing by India in the 2015 World Cup quarterfinal match in Melbourne, though he did not say that in so many words.

Centurion Rohit Sharma got a reprieve on individual score of 90 and team total of 196 in the 40th over bowled by Rubel Hossain when a marginal 'no-ball' call went in favour of the Indian opener. Rohit went on to add another 47 runs in quick time to help India go past 300-run mark.

Ian Gould was the umpire who adjudged Rubel's full-toss as waist high 'no-ball' with Rohit being holed out at deep mid-wicket boundary. However, the TV replays showed that it was a real touch-and-go situation which could have gone either way.

"I don't want to say anything about the umpiring decisions. Everybody present saw what happened. So it's not fair on my part to comment on this," a peeved Mashrafe said when asked about the umpire's decision.

When probed further as to whether the incident hampered the momentum of his team, Mashrafe said, "Look, a wicket during a crucial juncture is always important. At that point of time, we were putting in a lot of pressure on their batsmen. And everyone saw what happened after that."

In another debatable incident, Shikhar Dhawan seemed to touch the boundary rope while taking a catch to dismiss in-form batsman Mohammad Mahmudullah for 21 in the 17th over. Even though replays were inconclusive, the third umpire gave the decision in India's favour.

There was also a slight faux pas on the part of local organisers while playing songs of both the countries. While most of Indian songs were latest Bollywood chartbusters, the Bangladeshi songs were more nationalistic in nature and associated with their 'War of Independence'.

In fact, a lot of those patriotic songs were blaring out of the sound system immediately after a Bangladesh wicket fell. Though Mashrafe did not look happy about it but refused to comment as it would have meant taking on the parent body ICC.

Hundreds of Bangladesh cricket supporters burnt an effigy of Pakistani cricket umpire Aleem Dar. They chanted "Shame, Shame. No to ICC conspiracy," as they shouted slogans against the umpires and the International Cricket Council after Bangladesh's best ever World Cup came to an end following the 109-run defeat against India.

Bangladeshi fans were furious after the decision on Sharma. Fans also protested two other decisions including the catch against Bangladesh's best batsman Mahmudullah that snuffled out any hope for a comeback by the Tigers.

"The umpires were biased. We did not mind if we had been beaten legitimately. But this is pure robbery," Dhaka University student Mahmudul Hasan told AFP after joining a protest march.

"We protest these bad decisions. The ICC should review them," Hasan, a 21-year-old student of history, said.

Another student Topu Roy, 22, held a placard that dubbed the ICC as the 'Indian Cricket Council', not International Cricket Council.

"It was India's money that forced the ICC to work against us. So it's fair to call it Indian Cricket Council," he told AFP.

"Bangladesh is a victim of international conspiracy," another protester shouted, as live footage of the protests were broadcast live.

Local police chief Saidul Haq said up to 300 protesters joined the march at the University.

"They also burnt an effigy of the Pakistani umpire," he told AFP.

Facebook and Twitter were flooded with comments on the "biased" decisions although most also applauded the Tigers for their best ever World Cup performance.

"What we saw today, on three separate occasions, was the Bangladesh team denied a fair hearing," wrote a Shayan S Khan in a Facebook posting.

"I'll just talk about the no-ball, since that was the most blatant, and probably the most influential decision," he added.

"What naked partiality!!! Shame on you!!!" said Andrew Biraj.

Mortaza, meanwhile, was banned for one ODI and fined for his team's slow over-rate in the losing quarter-final against India. Mortaza was fined 40% of his match fee, while his players were fined 20% of their fees.

Match referee Roshan Mahanama imposed the suspension on Mortaza after Bangladesh were ruled to be two overs short of their target at the end of the match when time allowances were taken into consideration.

As Mortaza had also been found guilty of a minor over-rate offence during the victory against England, this offence constituted his second minor over-rate offence for the purposes of the ICC Code of Conduct.

Mortaza pleaded guilty to the offence and accepted the proposed sanction.

The skipper lamented that his side, playing in their first World Cup quarter-final, could have scored 270-280 runs instead of 193 against India, but were unable to make any partnerships and lost wickets at regular intervals.

"It was brilliant tournament for us. Obviously, the way we played today, it wasn't great, but most of the players in our side haven't any cricket in Australia, so it was a really big ask for us," he said.

"I feel very proud as the captain of this team, and hopefully our boys will take it in the next series.

"We always knew that India come hard after the 35th over. They have been brilliant after 35," he said.

"They take the calculated risk, and they've had success. Once again, we couldn't bowl with our plans."

First Published: Mar 19, 2015 19:28 IST