'What a joke': Cricket world divided over 'deplorable' controversy

The Proteas won a controversial first Test against Bangladesh after bowling the visitors out for 53 in their second innings. Pic: Getty/SunSport
The Proteas won a controversial first Test against Bangladesh after bowling the visitors out for 53 in their second innings. Pic: Getty/SunSport

Bangladesh are set to lodge an official complaint to the International Cricket Council (ICC) after accusing South Africa of a "deplorable" series of sledges during a thumping defeat in the first Test.

The Proteas wasted no time in wrapping up a crushing victory on the final day in Durban, with spinner Keshav Maharaj taking 7-32 to bowl Bangladesh out for just 53 runs.

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The paltry total was Bangladesh's second-lowest in their Test cricket history, with the visitors dismissed in only 19 overs as the Proteas tore through their batting line-up.

However, Bangladesh were left fuming at the standard of umpiring from South African duo Adrian Holdstock and Marais Erasmus.

Bangladesh Cricket Board cricket operations chairman Jalal Yunus told ESPNcricinfo: "We have already lodged one complaint about the umpiring after the ODI series.

"The match referee had initially misbehaved with our manager Nafees Iqbal but then softened when we gave him a written complaint. We will lodge another official complaint about this Test match."

He added: "There hasn't been impartial umpiring in this Test match. It started on the first day. We were held up for half an hour at the start of the game because of the sight screens. We were deprived of the initial advantage.

"To make up this half an hour, they extended the lunch session, instead of starting early, which we usually see. It is definitely at the umpire's discretion, but generally we see them making up for lost time by starting early. These are subtle technical things."

Bangladesh angry with Proteas' sledging

Yunus went on to accuse Dean Elgar's South African side of crossing the line with its sledges during a frequently tetchy match.

He said: "They surrounded [Mahmudul Hasan] Joy when he went out to bat. They were saying something. He couldn't say anything back since he is a junior player.

"It was deplorable. Instead of controlling the situation, the umpires warned our players whenever we made complaints.

"Sledging definitely took place from both sides, but when they started it and took it overboard, we complained to the umpires.

"It wasn't acceptable. We properly condemn it. We have to accept the umpires' decisions, but the ICC must reinstate neutral umpires."

The issue of sledging sparked plenty of debate on social media, with many suggesting that the Bangladesh players gave it as good as they received it.

Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque said the return of neutral umpires would provide a more balanced approach to sledging out in the middle.

He said: "Sledging is quite normal, but the umpires didn't seem to notice it. The umpiring in the match is not in our control, but I think the ICC should think about bringing back neutral umpires."

Bangladesh team director Khaled Mahmud also called for the return of neutral umpires after insisting the home side continually got the rub of the green.

“A few decisions went against us, which if they had come our way, we would have probably been chasing 180 runs instead of 270,” he said.

“We of course respect umpires … But to be frank, I saw such inconsistent umpiring after many days.

“Now the whole world has opened up, hopefully the ICC will consider giving neutral umpires.”

with agencies

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