The Dr HD Kanga Cricket League 'A' Division match between Parsee Gymkhana and Greater Mumbai Police Sports Club at Cross Maidan took an ugly turn yesterday due to a row between an umpire and players.
After Saturday's play, the Police SC players were involved in an argument with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) umpire Chandrakant Mhase, who had warned a Police SC bowler for chucking, mid-day has learnt.
Dadar Union Sporting Club skipper Rajesh Tandel, who is also overseeing Police SC's cricketing affairs, was involved in a heated argument with the umpire.
Following Saturday's incident, Mhase did not take the field at the start of yesterday's play. A Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) official said two men on a bike threatened Mhase while he was on his way to the ground.
"They had helmets on and the number plate was covered. They told Mhase that they would harm him and his family if he ever umpired a Police SC match. A substitute umpire was arranged within five minutes," the official said.
Mhase did not respond to calls from this newspaper. Parsee Gymkhana is expected to lodge a complaint against Tandel today. "Is this a gentleman's game?" asked Parsee Gymkhana vice-president and cricket secretary Khodad Yazdegardi.
"One cannot threaten umpires for any of their actions. First of all, Tandel had no business to interfere in this matter. If they had an objection, it could have been raised with the MCA officials and the observer of the match. I heard Tandel telling the umpire that he will ensure no MCA matches are allotted to him in future," said Yazdegardi.
Tandel, however, did admit that he was involved in an argument with the umpire, but denied threatening him: "Since I look after the Police SC team and he (the bowler with the suspect action) is my player, I thought of intervening.
"I had an argument with the umpire because he told the bowler that it would take only three balls for him to finish his career. I felt bad when the umpire said that Police SC players are always troublemakers.
"My point is, why warn a player in such a manner? If you want to ban him then do it straightaway. But it is completely false to say that I threatened the umpire. That episode ended yesterday (Saturday) and I was busy playing my match on Sunday," said Tandel.