ICC World Cup: Rohit Sharma's ton mired in 'no-ball' controversy; umpires under fire
Melbourne: Opener Rohit Sharma's 137 off 126 balls was largely responsible for India's crushing 109-run win over Bangladesh in the World Cup quarter-final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Thursday. But the match-winning ton was mired in controversy after the Mumbai lad had a lucky escape on 90. Rohit was caught at deep mid-wicket off Rubel Hossain but umpire signalled a no-ball for the waist-high ball despite TV replays indicating it to be a legitimate delivery.
it was the 40th over with Rohit on 90 and the team total at the time was 196 when the marginal 'no-ball' call went in favour of the Indian opener. Rohit went onto add another 47 runs in quick time to help India go past 300-run mark.
Umpire Aleem Dar, standing at square-leg, indicated that the ball had been above Rohit's waist and his colleague Gould called it. However, TV replays showed that it was a real touch-and-go situation which could have gone either way.
Rohit Sharma plays a shot vs Bangladesh during the World Cup quarter-final match between India and Bangladesh at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Thursday. Pic/AFP
Mashrafe Mortaza upset
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza today expressed his displeasure at some of the decisions that went against his side in the match here though he did not say it in so many words.
"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."
Australian cricket legend Shane Warne, who was doing commentary when the incident occurred, was upset with the decision.
Warne said, "That should have been a wicket. The ball was under the waist. He (Aleem Dar) has lost his confidence.”
He said it was a bad decision from an experienced umpire like Dar.
Former India batsman VVS Laxman felt it was not a no-ball and took to a micro-blogging site to share his feeling on the issue. "Bad decision from Gould, was definitely not above the waist. Lucky break for rohit. this can b the difference in getting xtra 20 runs #CWC2015," he tweeted.
Former Pakistan pacer Shoib Akhter tweeted, "Aleem Dar (Pakistani) gave India the Mauka."
Protests in Bangladesh over 'biased' umpiring
Dhaka: Hundreds of Bangladesh cricket supporters today burnt an effigy of Pakistani cricket umpire Aleem Dar and marched in the capital Dhaka after the country was knocked out of the World Cup.
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 a 109-run defeat against India.
Bangladeshi fans were furious after player-of-the-match Sharma got a big break on 90 when he holed out to deep mid-wicket off Rubel Hossain, only for Dar and fellow umpire Ian Gould to signal a no-ball for what appeared to be a legitimate waist-high delivery.
Fans also protested two other decisions including a catch against Bangladesh's best batsman Mohammad 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. -AFP