Storm before calm: Shakib threatens walkout before sense prevails

Here's why Shakib Al Hasan and Bangladesh protested and threatened a walkout.

Shakib Al Hasan lost his cool when he saw something unfair happen to his team.   -  AP

A Twenty20 International that was heading for a grandstand finish suddenly became chaotic. Shakib Al Hasan, the Bangladesh captain, threatened a walkout after the square-leg umpire retracted a no-ball after signalling the same on the second ball of the 20th over, off which Bangladesh needed 12 runs to win and reach the final.

Mahmudullah was the sole specialist batsman in the middle for Bangladesh but he wasn't on strike at the start of the final over. Mustafizur Rahman had joined Mahmudullah after Mehidy Hasan had been run out on the last ball of the 19th over.

Isuru Udana began the final over with a well-directed bouncer that Mustafizur missed. The Sri Lankan players felt Mustafizur had edged the ball and asked for a review which showed no contact between the bat or glove with the ball. The second ball of the over was a similar one and Mustafizur missed once again, this time, however, he was called for a bye by Mahmudullah and found himself run out by Udana. Importantly, Mahmudullah was at the striker's end, with Bangladesh now needing 12 runs off four balls.

The scuffle

Chaos ensued when the No. 10 batsman Rubel Hossain walked in. The reserve Bangladeshi players who had offered drinks to Mahmudullah got involved in a war of words with the Sri Lankan fielders. The umpires had to step in to calm down the situation and the Bangladeshi batsmen were given a talking to before the start of the final over.

A furious Shakib, sat in the team dugout, then suddenly started ranting at the fourth umpire for the on-field umpire denying his team a no-ball having apparently signalled the same — for the second bouncer of the over— before the run out of Mustafizur. At the same time, he waved at Mahmudullah and Rubel, calling them in and gesturing a forfeit which will have cost Bangladesh the match and a place in the final. 

A former captain and now the team technical director, Khaled Mahmud then stepped in, calmed down Shakib, whose blood was boiling and who took the stairs to the dressing room, and directed the batsmen to get on with the run chase.

Mahmudullah hit the third ball of the over (which was very wide) for a boundary over extra cover, stole a two off the next (he was lucky not to be run out when attempting to complete his second run) and then flicked the penultimate ball on his pads for a six over square leg to seal the victory and Bangladesh's place in the final.

Shakib, after the match, explained the reason for losing his cool: "The square-leg umpire called a no-ball and after a discussion they cancelled it. I didn’t think it was the right decision. I don’t know what happened after the first ball which was a bouncer but after the second ball, the umpire called a no-ball."

The Bangladeshi captain was also remorseful and added, “Many things happened that shouldn’t have happened. I need to remain calm. I was overjoyed. Excitement was there. I must know how to react next time. I will be careful."

Teams threatening walkouts

Here are a couple of instances when teams threatened a walkout:

Sunil Gavaskar vs Australia, 1981

The former Indian batting great protested against an umpiring decision that ruled him lbw. Gavaskar felt that he had hit the ball before it hit his pad and he shouldn't have been given out. He stood his ground long after the umpire had ruled him out and just as he started walking to the dressing room, Dennis Lillee gave him a earful and prompted Gavaskar to call his batting partner, Chetan Chauhan, to walk out with him.

But the Indian team manager instructed Chauhan to remain in the middle and get on with the match.

Muttiah Muralitharan vs Australia, 1999

The Sri Lankan team threatened a walkout at Adelaide Oval after Australian umpire Ross Emerson no-balled the spin wizard, Muttiah Muralitharan, for apparently 'chucking' in an ODI.

The Sri Lankan team management made a phone call to Colombo as the players remained on the field, before play resumed.