World cricket body’s chief executive David Richardson says allegations made by president Mustafa Kamal about umpiring decisions are unfortunate & baseless
Sydney: International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive David Richardson yesterday slammed his organisation’s Bangladeshi president for questioning the integrity of umpires, saying allegations of fixing were “unfortunate” and “baseless”.
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson. INSET: Mustafa Kamal
Mustafa Kamal claimed decisions made by officials during Bangladesh’s 109-run loss to India in their World Cup quarter-final seemed to have been “pre-arranged”. Kamal was angry that Rohit Sharma, who top-scored with 137, had not been given not out on 90 when he was caught at deep mid-wicket, only for umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Gould to signal a no-ball for what appeared to be a legitimate waist-high delivery.
“The ICC has noted Mr Mustafa Kamal’s comments, which are very unfortunate but made in his personal capacity. As an ICC President, he should have been more considerate in his criticism of ICC match officials, whose integrity cannot be questioned,” said Richardson.
“The no-ball decision was a 50-50 call. The spirit of the game dictates that the umpire’s decision is final and must be respected,” he added.
“Any suggestion that the match officials had ‘an agenda’ or did anything other than perform to the best of their ability are baseless and are refuted in the strongest possible terms,” Richardson insisted.
Kamal said he was considering quitting his post in protest. “As the ICC president, whatever I have to say I will say it in next meeting. It could happen that maybe I will resign,” Kamal said in comments aired on Bangladeshi television. “There was no quality in the umpiring. It looked like they took the field after it (the outcome) was pre-arranged,” he alleged.
Kamal, whose position has been largely ceremonial since India’s N Srinivasan became the body’s chairman last year, said the ICC’s acronym seemed to stand for the Indian Cricket Council. “I cannot represent the Indian Cricket Council. If someone has imposed a result on us, in that case no one can accept it,” added Kamal, who is a minister in the Bangladeshi government.
Meanwhile, the Indian cricket board said Kamal should have made his feelings known to his fellow administrators before airing them in public.
“I wish he could have taken all these issues on the ICC platform during the ICC meetings,” said BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur. “The (reality) is we’ve won against Bangladesh. I think it’s time to move ahead.”