Melbourne: Rejecting its own President's criticism of the umpiring during Bangladesh's World Cup quarterfinal loss to India, the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday said Mustafa Kamal's outburst against the match officials was "unfortunate" and "baseless".
"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," ICC CEO Dave Richardson said in a statement.
"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. 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," he added.
Claiming to speak as a fan, Kamal, who hails from Bangladesh, had said that the on-field umpiring during the match, which his country lost by 109 runs, was "very poor".
The bone of contention was was a close no-ball reprieve that centurion Rohit Sharma got during the game.
Rohit was on an individual score of 90 and team total on 196 in the 40th over bowled by Rubel Hossain when a marginal 'no-ball' call went in favour of the Indian opener. He went on to add another 47 runs in quick time to help India go past the 300-run mark.
Ian Gould was the umpire who adjudged Rubel's full-toss as waist high 'no-ball' with Rohit being holed out at deep mid-wicket boundary. However, TV replays showed that it was a real touch-and-go situation which could have gone either way.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board has stated that it will protest the umpiring in its report to the ICC.
"Naturally we will appeal against these decisions in our report. It won't change the result, unfortunately. One wrong decision can make a huge difference in a World Cup quarter-final," BCB president Nazmul Hassan was quoted as saying by 'ESPNCricinfo'.
"I have had discussions with the ICC president (Mustafa Kamal) as no one else among the senior (ICC) officials were here in Melbourne. Legally what needs to be done, we will do it," Hassan added.
Kamal said the matter needs to be looked into.
"From what I have seen, the umpiring was very poor. There was no quality in the umpiring. It seemed as if they had gone into the match with something in mind. I am speaking as a fan, not as the ICC president," Kamal said.
"Umpires may make mistakes. The ICC will see if this was done deliberately. Everything is on record. The ICC has to investigate and inquire the issue to see if there's anything to it."
Protests erupted in Bangladesh after the loss with fans voicing their displeasure with the umpiring. Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza had also expressed his displeasure at a few decisions going against his side though he did not say in so many words.
"I don't want to say anything about the umpiring decisions. Everybody present saw what happened. So it's not fair on my part to comment on this," a peeved Mortaza said when asked about the umpire's decision.