India and Bangladesh fought out the second quarter final of the Cricket World Cup on Thursday. India won the game moderately easily after amassing 302 batting first, an innings anchored by a 137 run innings from Rohit Sharma.
Sharma’s innings had a tone of controversy about it: on 90 he hit a waist high full toss in the air that was caught. However, the umpires decided, as the laws of cricket prescribe, that it was a no ball and Sharma was judged to be not out.
In a game where Bangladesh only scored 193 and, frankly, were outplayed in all aspects of the game that should have been the end of it.
It wasn’t though because Mustafa Kamal made these comments on Bangladesh TV:
“There was no quality in the umpiring. It looked like they took the field after it (the outcome) was pre-arranged,” he alleged.
“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 Mr Kamal you ask? Well he is the President of the International Cricket Council. That’s right: this is the man elected by the members of the ICC to lead the Council. He just called the umpires in the second quarter final, Aleem Dar and Ian Gould (two of the best in the game), match fixers and cheats.
Yes, the CEO of the ICC, David Richardson, has come out in the strongest possible defence of the umpires and yes, Mr Kamal has stated that he was commenting as a fan of the game and not the president of the ICC.
However, frankly, the context of the comments means absolutely nothing! This is not some bloke in the pub or on social media blowing up about a bad umpiring decision. This is the president of the governing body of the game of cricket internationally saying that the umpires are cheats. That is just not acceptable no matter the excuse and no matter how much the CEO of the ICC bites back about those comments.
This is simple: Mustafa Kamal CAN NOT be the president of the ICC for another second. Every second he remains the president of the ICC there is a question mark around the integrity of the umpires in question, the Indian team and, more broadly, the game. He must go! If he does not do it of his own accord then the ICC should convene a meeting of its board immediately (not after the World Cup is over), via phone if necessary, and vote Mustafa Kamal out as president for bring the game into disrepute.
Mustafa Kamal: your comments are disgrace, against the Spirit of Cricket and defamatory. Do the right thing and quit for the good of the game.