Dave Richardson says that umpire's decision is final © Getty Images
Dave Richardson says that umpire’s decision is final © Getty Images

International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive David Richardson on Friday slammed his organisation’s Bangladeshi president for questioning the integrity of umpires, saying allegations of fixing were “unfortunate” and “baseless”. Mustafa Kamal claimed decisions made by officials during Bangladesh’s 109-run loss to India in their World Cup quarter-final in Melbourne on Thursday seemed to have been “pre-arranged”. READ: BCB appeal against Rohit Sharma no-ball reprieve during India vs Bangladesh

Kamal was angry that India’s Rohit Sharma, who top-scored with 137, had not been given not out on 90 when he was caught at deep mid-wicket off the bowling of Rubel Hossain, only for umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Gould to signal a no-ball for what appeared to be a legitimate waist-high delivery. But Richardson defended Dar and Gould from all accusations of biased officiating. READ: Bangladesh can find cheer in spite of defeat against India in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

“The ICC has noted Mr Mustafa Kamal’s comments, which are very unfortunate but made in his personal capacity. As an ICC President, he should have been more considerate in his criticism of ICC match officials, whose integrity cannot be questioned,” said Richardson. READ: Rohit reflects on ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 ton against Bangladesh

“The no-ball decision was a 50-50 call. The spirit of the game dictates that the umpire’s decision is final and must be respected,” the former South Africa wicket-keeper added. READ: Rohit wanted to make innings count during IND-BAN ICC World Cup 2015 quarter-final

“Any suggestion that the match officials had ‘an agenda’ or did anything other than perform to the best of their ability are baseless and are refuted in the strongest possible terms,” Richardson insisted.  READ: Narendra Modi, Pranab Mukherjee congratulate team India

Kamal said he was considering quitting his post in protest. “As the ICC president, whatever I have to say I will say it in next meeting. It could happen that maybe I will resign,” Kamal said in comments aired on Bangladeshi television. READ: Sunil Gavaskar praises Indian bowling after the victory against Bangladesh

“There was no quality in the umpiring. It looked like they took the field after it [the outcome] was pre-arranged,” he alleged.

Bangladeshi fans were also furious at the dismissal of star batsman Mohammad Mahmudullah who was caught close to the boundary rope. The match was the biggest in the history of the cricket-mad nation, marking the first time that Bangladesh had made the World Cup quarter-finals. READ: Rohit Sharma’s talent best utilised at opening slot, feels MS Dhoni

Many fans wept only after the defeat while protestors also burned an effigy of Dar, who hails from Bangladesh’s great rival Pakistan. Kamal, whose position has been largely ceremonial since India’s Narayanaswami Srinivasan became the body’s chairman last year, said the ICC’s acronym seemed to stand for the Indian Cricket Council. READ: IND vs BAN, ICC World Cup 2015 quarter-final: Dhaka witnesses protests against biased umpiring

“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 a minister in the Bangladeshi government. READ: Mashrafe Mortaza banned for one ODI for slow over rate

Meanwhile the Indian cricket board said Kamal should have made his feelings known to his fellow administrators before airing them in public. “I wish he could have taken all these issues on the ICC platform during the ICC meetings,” said Anurag Thakur, the Indian board secretary.

“The [reality] is we’ve won against Bangladesh and India has won all the previous matches in the league stage. I think it’s time to move ahead…we can discuss and debate these issues in the next meeting.”

Bangladesh’s exit dominated the country’s front-page headlines on Friday with, many commentators blaming shoddy umpiring for the defeat. “Tigers fall to controversial calls,” read the lead in the Dhaka Tribune, while the the headline of the mass-circulation Bengali daily Kaler Kantha said: “The dream run ends in umpiring scandal.”