Bangladesh, more often than not, have to be on the receiving end when it comes to errors made by on-field umpires. Who can forget Asoka de Silva’s questionable umpiring in the famous 2003 Multan Test? Bangladesh could’ve won their first Test match against Pakistan 19 years ago but were denied the victory.
By tea on day four of the ongoing Durban Test, as many as eight decisions had been reversed when sent upstairs and most of them were initially given in favor of the home side by Marais Erasmus and Adrian Holdstock. Most of the close calls went against Bangladesh. They were not smart enough too when it comes to using the DRS.
The ICC in 2020 allowed local umpires for Tests keeping in mind the Covid-19 situation and added an extra review, making it three each for the teams for a period of 80 overs. With the Covid situation improving day by day, Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan suggested that it’s time for the ICC to amend the rules.
One sided umpiring in #Durban #Southafrica #SAvsBAN #icc @ICC pic.twitter.com/VcbrD1Ja2h
— Niloy Banerjee Himu 🇧🇩 (@niloy_himu) April 3, 2022
Shakib, who has been watching the game from the USA, tweeted, “I think it’s time for the ICC to go back to neutral umpires as Covid situation is okay in most cricket playing countries.”
I think it’s time for #Icc to back to neutral umpires as covid situation is ok in most cricket playing countries. #SAvBAN
— Shakib Al Hasan (@Sah75official) April 3, 2022
During South Africa’s previous home series against India, players like Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin were vocal about the umpiring decisions especially ball-tracking as most of the decisions went against them.
Both of Bangladesh’s first two wickets (Dean Elgar and Sarel Erwee) on day four were results of the use of DRS. In between the two decisions, Keegan Petersen was pinned in front by Khaled Ahmed but the umpire didn’t give it out. Bangladesh didn’t opt for a review but the TV replays showed three reds. Not only the leg-before decisions, umpire Marais Erasmus even called a five-ball over during Bangladesh’s innings.
And Bangladesh didn’t put on a good fielding show especially in the morning session. Dean Elgar was dropped twice – on 34 by Najmul Hossain Shanto and on 43 by Yasir Ali. The fielding was much better in the afternoon session as Mahmudul Hasan Joy and Shadman Islam took two very good catches at short leg and silly point respectively. Yasir somewhat made up for the earlier error by taking a brilliant one-handed catch at slip to dismiss Kyle Verreynne.
Still, Bangladesh missed two more opportunities in the second session. Shanto missed a sharp chance as the ball went to his left and hit his boot. Khaled missed a half chance off his own bowling. If Bangladesh could hold on to the catch Elgar gave early in the first session and the Petersen decision went Bangladesh’s way, Bangladesh could already have opened up South Africa’s tail with the lead around 220.
The fight is still on and the Tigers will look to quickly learn from the mistakes and give the home side a run for their money. But, if Bangladesh end up losing the match by a small margin, these umpiring blunders will come to haunt the Bangladeshi fans.