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Bangladesh captain Masrafe Mortaza shakes hands with India's captain MS Dhoni
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza shakes hands with India's captain MS Dhoni

I sit down to write my thoughts today – the day after the second quarter finals of the Cricket World Cup 2015. The whole cricketing world knows the outcome by now, and all the controversy that the match has rekindled.

Slightly over a month ago, when the World Cup mission began, I honestly did not expect much from our cricket team. This doesn’t mean I do not support and adore them, but I just felt it prudent to be practical with my expectations. Within a few weeks however, the tigers turned the tables and even a cynical person like me was dreaming up on cloud nine because of this world cup.

We gave most of our opponents a run for their money, and in the end we made it to the knockout stages for the first time since 1999. Not only did we make it, we made it with one game to spare and by knocking out England – a team that has never won anything major but doesn’t let that stop them thinking they’re one of the big names in the game.

In our last first round game against New Zealand, we became the only side in this tournament to bat the full 50 overs against them and score more than 200. All in all, no one can say we didn’t put up a great show and deserved our entry into the quarter finals.

The whole nation looked forward to March 19, 2015. To be honest, almost everyone I knew seemed to have taken the day off to be able to watch the game. In our campus, students came in not for classes, but to watch the game together with everyone else. Even I was there with all of them, watching the game with lofty dreams and aspirations.

But it all came to naught. We were ready to lose. We never expected to come this far, and would have been happy with just putting up a good fight. But all our dreams were shattered with at least two dubious decisions.

First, Rohit Sharma was caught out in a delivery which was promptly dubbed a no ball. Almost everyone who saw the replay contend that it wasn’t the case. Michael Holding, one of the most deadly fast bowlers this game has ever seen, maintains it was a legal delivery. Rameez Raja, no friend of Bangladesh’s, says it was a legal delivery. More interestingly though, ICC’s Hawk-Eye, which records the trajectory of every ball bowled in every match, seems to be missing just that one entry. It is almost as if someone does not want the world to scrutinise that single ball too much. But surely I am paranoid.

In a game like cricket, one chance like that is often all that a batsman needs to make a serious difference. Rohit Sharma went on to make a hundred, and India crossed 300. But this bunch of tigers didn’t know that they could lose. They went out there and started playing their hearts out.

Until someone practically stood on the boundary rope and took a catch. And suddenly we were back in 1915. No cameras, no zooming in, no technology. The umpire just somehow knew Shikhar Dhawan’s feet were not touching the rope, and thus it was an out. Some people are trying to tell us that the umpire was at fault, that Shikhar Dhawan did nothing wrong.

There was once a phrase the English used – “this is not cricket.” It has now lost all meaning after yesterday’s match. It used to indicate the dishonourable and undignified, because cricket used to be an honourable and dignified game. Used to be. Once upon a time.

We do not know why the umpires at such a crucial stage of a tournament would turn out to be this incompetent, unless they are competent and malicious. The general consensus seems to be that India’s dominance over ICC influences the umpire’s decisions. Observing social media from yesterday, it becomes clear that we are not the only nation disgruntled by the outcome.

To be fair, the Indian Cricket team is immensely talented. They will probably win the world cup anyway. I hope they realise that a victory they would have achieved anyway, has now been marred by controversy. The World Cup is more than financial gain. It is an honour. After yesterday, India may get the cup, the financial gain, and the sponsorship deals. But the honour I am afraid, we will have brought back to Bangladesh. In the claws of tigers.

Hammad Ali is a freelancer and an adviser for Bangladesh Math Olympiad Committee, Society for Popularisation of Science in Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Open Source Network.

24 Responses to “Not cricket”

  1. Abid

    This India team is NOT going to win the WC ! I saw nothing impressive in all the big names…
    They will crumble In the semis

  2. BD_Fan

    As a Bangladeshi, I am totally ashamed about the way Bangladeshis fans are reacting to their loss against India. I mean, how we expect to win against a team like India when our main strike bowler is bowling at a merely 112 mph pace?! We also do not have any specialist spinner in the team. I realize that Nasir and Sakib can bowl, but they aren’t any genuine spinners in the team? Also, lack of maturity (Rubel’s reaction after getting Kohli’s wicket) contributed to our failure against a world class team like India.
    Everyone knows that India has influence in ICC, but that has nothing to do with Aleem Dar’s decision. Don’t forget that India’s influence helped us to get test status. Umpiring mistakes are quite common as it can be observed in the case of Misbah ul Haque who was not given out against Australia where he was clearly bowled out.
    I know many in Bangladesh will justify Bangladesh’s poor performance by blaming the umpire or ‘conspiracy.’ This has been the story of Bangladesh for the last 15 years which will not bring any good for Bangladesh cricket’s future. Stop whining and take responsibilities for your actions.
    Mr. Kamal should be blaming the players for their poor performance. Why Mashrafe is the main strike bowler? Why don’t we have a good wicketkeeper? Why don’t we have a genuine spinner? Why does Bangladesh keep selecting the same players even though they do not perform at an international level? All the answers are there, but the irony is that no one will ever care to look.

  3. Indieguy

    Really? Hammad Ali? Since when did you start following Cricket? We Indians were so many times were victims of wrong umpiring. And momentarily there was anger. But calling it a conspiracy and making such a stupid comments? Don’t you think you went overboard? And those saying that Indians control ICC and fixed this match: just to remind you- it were us who stood behind you giving you the Test nation status, when other countries were against it. Now you guys will plain deny it or say that you got it on your merit. It’s high time we really think about this? Even Zimbabwe played better than you to be honest.

  4. Rahul

    Reading the comments of the Bangladeshi Supporters. Its really funny. On otherside its good to see their support for their cricket team. But its not true sportmanship & also chidlish to see all these silly cries. Accept your defeat, since you were truely beaten in all department. Finding lame excuses & cries will not make the world to say “The match was fixed”. Instead they may not play games against you immature babies. Because you guys cry for defeats!!! Instead work on you game, support your team to grow stronger. See cricket as a sport its not more than that. You guys have found Rubel, Mohammadullah, still lot more to improve.

    • Sharmin

      Yes, your team is superior in every field of the cricket. Then what was the necessary to misuse your power? What do you think when in one match 3 decisions (1 LB, 1 no ball n 1 catch)went against one particular team. OHH… its just coincidence,r8!!! We accepted our defeat and you should accept the truth how you won the match. But you know, we did not lose, CRICKET did. Best of luck for your further journey.

    • Sam

      Did you forget 2007? what Indian supporters did to the players? You guys were about to burn all your players after the defeat. On the other hand, BD supporters are not crying on the defeat but can not accept the corruption of ICC any more which is owned by India actually. It’s not only BD cricket, google and do research how many former players of different countries are making this statement.
      After 2007 defeat, the group stage format was changed so that India does not face the same situation any more. India is a world class team, however this is all about money now. To make the business partners happy, the reputation of Indian cricket is in debate now.

      I like your one comment “See cricket as a sport its not more than that”. Can you tell that to your media and some of the most idiotic persons of the world like Si*hu, a***h chopra, j**eja, pro**njit and so on?

      At the very end, as a giant cricketing nation India never appreciated Bangladesh cricket, BD played only 28 matches against Indian in more than 20 years. They did not even dare to play a home series against BD. so think before you make any comment.

    • Golam Arshad

      Rahul: Play Mauka! Mauka! That will only give you a Win! I call this a Super Ego in deception.Perhaps a World Cup in Cricket 2015.Right Rahul!!

  5. Guest

    At the end of the day money speaks, and Bangladesh Cricket must learn to live with this reality. As a cricketing underdog, Bangladesh, I am afraid, will be in the receiving end of poor, and at times perhaps malicious, umpiring decisions in future. The best defence against this is to improve the quality of the game at home. We need to be way better than what our detractors will give us credit for. So, it’s time to go to the drawing board. Like everything else in life, gravity of sporting excellence is transitory, and Time has an uncanny ability to level things.
    Every dog has its day, and we shall have hours.

  6. AAbeer

    Absurd and utter nonsense. Where is the point of honour and tigers having the cup in their claws? Imrul kayes, the opener had nicked and he was not given out? Now what do you explain about that? It is all a game and nothing else. There is no conspiracy or fixing going in to it.

    • likhon

      “Imrul kayes, the opener had nicked and he was not given out” – when? You guys didn’t even appeal. What are you talking about?

  7. Cricket Binodon

    This is not cricket anyhow. Bangladesh defeated against the business. The umpair change the meaning of ICC. Now it is Indian Cricket Council.

  8. Leon

    lol……else BD would have won….even if we had send our womens team ..they would have beaten you conclusively…aukat mien raho. you have been shown your place..which is not amongst top teams….in game of cricket sometimes a decision or 2 will not go your way..and shikars catch was perfectly legal….I personally think as BD has not done anything susbtanial in test matches for a loong time..it should be relegated and Ireland promoted….:)

    • Sam

      May be that should have been done in 2007. when India lost the game, Ireland should have been promoted in place of India right? no, not right. Play fair cricket and enjoy the game keep outrage and business out of this. There are lots people like Sidhu who think like you. But brainless comments dont make any difference, try to listen what great people like S gavaskar, S ganguly, shane Warne says. Learn something from New Zeland. how they appreciate all other teams.

    • likhon

      India would have won regardless but those decisions were wrong by the umpires – intentionally or unintentionally, no one knows. It was not a fair game and you know it. If that happens to you against Australia, you would cry about that also. Let’s see how you do in the semi.

  9. Rahman

    For achieving their benefits indians forgotten all the justice!!!

  10. Rahul

    What honour are u talking abt? Where was that honour when ur opener guy nicked the ball to MSD? Did he have the so called honour to walk?
    Dont u guys know that if ball pitches outside leg stump, LBW is not given?
    Hawk eye clearly showed it pitched outside off.
    3 camera angles were showed for that Dhawan catch. It clearly showed that his foot did not touch the rope. Whats wrong there?
    Even Jordan was not run out against u. That was the lucky break u got. Did u complain after that?
    Lastly, even if Rohit was given out in 90s, Ind wud have still scored 280+.
    But u guys were no way near to that.
    And yes, where was ur so called “honour” when Rubel was abusing Kohli from behind after he got him out?? Actually dogs bark from behind, not
    tigers.

    • Tauhidul

      As a close viewer of the match (being at the MCG), Dhawan’s catch was not legal in any count. His legs clearly touched the ropes, where I was there at that close point. I have a picture of that his both legs are touched during the catch. More interestingly, it was not even shown on the big screen properly examining the angels you mentioned.

      A person with little cricket knowledge should have judged that Rohit’s catch was an absolute catch with a correct ball.

      Onsite media control was completely fabricated, and the crowd of that particular country was abusive and hostile with no norms. One of my very close friends (doctoral student) had to call police to protect himself.

      I understand India is a strong team. Winning / defeating should follow a fair match. No matter if Bangladesh is beaten, but that must be a fair match.

      • Kalloo Khan

        Please put up your photo on the social media for the world to see.

      • BD lovers

        Chore India (not team India), why Bangldeshi people are talking this types Chore (thief). they are abusing the media control as well as the ICC. Should we talk Rahul who has no idea about Cricket. Only Indian people and some ex Indian Cricketers are saying this is normal things occurred in Umpiring. I didn’t see any International match that 3 wrong judgement given by the Umpires. You nood Indian’s are make it simple… Have you played any time in the cricket ground wiring white dress. If you see that Indian team’s are getting preferences than what our players will do in the field. I think we Bagnladeshi will prefer to give up this match. we have shown our gentlemen-ship. Think, If Umpires would have given this decision against India what would happen. Indian people will say it will not happen. Because ICC is our asset.

      • Commonman

        Lets begin by saying that BD has a good young team with some talented upcoming players – so it has a good future.

        Not many people expected BD to make QF – that they did, after a fortuitous 1 point from a rain affected match, raised hopes and expectations beyond usual.

        To me that seemed to be not a no-ball. Not sure why the umpires did not ask for review. Bad decision. Absolutely bad decision, per me.

        But to blame India for orchestrating that bad decision is pure childishness.
        You are not talking of poor decisions by your own captain that cost you the match – Rubel was brought in only after 11 overs- isn’t that surprising? How come your best all-rounder who is so good in IPL (Sakib) scored only 12 out of 29 balls ? How was your fielding so atrociously poor? How come your batsmen – none of them scored beyond 35?

        And you are claiming you saw Dhawan touch the ropes – you were behind the ropes – there were reviews from 3 angles – did not prove it – but you are claiming you saw it – in the backdrop of thousand fans and gleaming lights and all the excitement. Isn’t that stretching reality a bit too far to justify your dream?

        I am sorry say this but your nation has this ‘conspiracy theory’ disease….which has now permeated to sporting arena too. Every action by your PM Hasina is thought to be a conspiracy from Awami League and India by BNP and Jamaat. Every action by Khaleda Zia is thought to be a conspiracy by Awami League. Every Muslim thinks Hindus are subservient to India, every Hindu thinks that every Muslim is subservient to Pakistan – all of you believe in conspiracy theories to explain anything that you cannot be good at. Come out of it – grow up …

        You have a good talented team – feel proud of your achievements. Best wishes…

    • likhon

      You are missing the point. It is not too much to ask to have a fair game. I agree with you that India may have scored the same runs because they have plenty of good batsmen to follow. That is not the point. The point is ‘fair game’ and it was not.

      • Tauhidul

        You have missed the reality. India would have scored maximum 250 if those two decisions (Rohit & Raina) didn’t go against Bangladesh. See what was their run-rate until 37 overs (around 4). When Rohit/Kohli/Raina weren’t there who would lift the run rate up ???

        Truly, Ricky Ponting said Bangladesh would win if the decisions didn’t go against Bangladesh.

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