Former Bangladesh test skipper Tamim Iqbal faced the anger of the Bangladesh Cricket Board after some ill-chosen comments on the state of the pitch following Comilla Victorians’ recent game against the Rangpur Riders in the Bangladesh Premier League.
The incident arose in the wake of the match in early December, which took place at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
The match was certainly not the run-fest that T20 teams and supporters have come to expect over recent years, and the Riders’ 97 all out, in which only Brendan McCullum managed to top 20, turned out to be a competitive total, with the Victorians limping across the line with three deliveries to spare and six wickets down.
Iqbal led from the front in his team’s reply, top scoring with 22, before being brilliantly caught on the boundary by Nahidul Islam off the bowling of Sohag Gazi. But while it could not be blamed for his own dismissal, he was quick to make his feelings felt about the state of the playing surface.
He described the wicket as “horrible,” and suggested that paying fans were not getting their money’s worth when they saw one team unable to reach three figures and the other struggle to chase down such a modest total.
Responsibility to fans and gamblers worldwide
While Tamim’s words might not have gone down well with the authorities, most impartial cricket fans, and particularly those who like to stake a small wager, will agree wholeheartedly with his sentiments. The Bangladesh Cricket League might not have the same media attention as the IPL or Big Bash, but there are fans logging on worldwide to check the latest UK odds from their sports betting site of choice, and all they ask is a decent surface for an even battle between bat and ball.
Tamim was certainly not the only player to indicate that he was less than impressed with the wicket – Kiwi legend Brendan McCullum also said that he felt it was below par. But given Tamim’s role within Bangladesh cricket, it is perhaps unsurprising that he was the one singled out for censure. The Bangladesh Cricket Board issued a written complaint to his team, and he appeared before a disciplinary hearing on 14 December.
Exactly what was said during the hearing and what, if any, action was taken remained behind closed doors, with Director Mahbub Anam only telling reporters that Iqbal had been spoken to and “understood his mistake.” Meanwhile, the 28 year old test opener was full of repentance as he emerged from the hearing.
He said: “I could have used better words,” and added: “I hope in the coming years my actions will be better.”
Ups and downs
The incident summed up a BPL series of ups and downs for Tamim and his team. While he ultimately ended the campaign as top run scorer for the table-topping Victorians, his team wilted in the playoffs and Rangpur had the last laugh, lifting their maiden trophy on 13 December.