Bangladesh will formally complain to the International Cricket Council over claims of biased umpiring and “unbearable” sledging in the first Test against South Africa, officials said Tuesday. The side was furious after several close calls went against them in Durban, where they remained competitive for most of the match before a batting collapse saw them dismissed for 53 in the second innings. Players have since taken issue with their opponents for on-field taunts they said crossed the line into abuse.
“You all have seen how biased the umpiring was. On the field, sledging was also unbearable,” Bangladesh Cricket Board cricket operations chief Jalal Yunus told AFP.
“We will write a formal complaint to the ICC match referee manager,” he added.
Jalal said they raised similar issues to match referee Andy Pycroft after their 2-1 one-day international series win — their first on South African soil.
“Our manager spoke to him several times. But he paid no attention to our complaint,” Jalal said by phone from Durban.
“We want the ICC to appoint neutral umpires in Test series as soon as possible. We are also ready to welcome neutral umpires in our home series,” he said.
Umpires from host countries have been used exclusively since 2020, when the pandemic imposed worldwide travel restrictions, and South African umpires Marais Erasmus and Adrian Holdstock were standing in the Durban Test.
Skipper Mominul Haque said umpires did not intervene when South African players sledged their Bangladeshi opponents.
“Sledging is a normal thing. But if it comes to the stage of abuse, that is very bad,” he said.
“I think they abused us in the worst manner and umpires did not notice.”
South Africa won by 220 runs in Durban after the tourists’ batting collapse in the second innings.
The second Test will start in Gqeberha on April 8.
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