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.
Opener Rohit Sharma top-scored with 137 off 126 balls and Suresh Raina hit a rapid-fire 65 from 57 balls as India posted a daunting total of 302 in the quarter-final in Melbourne that took the match away from Bangladesh.
But 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.