Bengal levelled ball-tampering allegations against Railways on Day Three of their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal at the Eden Gardens, the second game in a row between these two sides, which has had a touch of controversy. The on-field umpires, Suresh Shastri and Paschim Pathak, changed the ball in the 15th over of the Bengal second innings. The umpires also reported that the ‘ball was damaged’ to match referee Rajendra Jadeja.
The Railways started off with medium pacers Anureet Singh and Krishnakant Upadhyay. Shortly, the umpires had a conversation with Railways captain Murali Kartik. The ball was changed with Bengal on 15 for two. Railways were given a warning by the umpires.
“There were some issues with the ball. It was damaged and the on-field umpires brought the matter to my notice after the ball was changed. The umpires issued a warning to Railways (for the ball being damaged). The matter has ended for now. If there’s a second complaint (by the umpires), a five-run penalty will be imposed (on the fielding side) and then the whole issue will be referred to the BCCI disciplinary committee,” match referee Rajendra Jadeja said.
“The damage may not necessarily amount to tampering. We’ve to look into it, subject to a second complaint,” Jadeja added.
Incidentally, ball-tampering is a Level-2 offence and the penalty is a deduction of 50 to 100 per cent of match fee.
The Bengal camp, however, claimed the ball had been tampered with. “They (Railways) had been scratching the ball right from the start.
“The umpires warned Murali Kartik, but it continued. Then I and coach Ashok Malhotra went to the match referee and informed him about the matter,” Bengal team manager Debabrata Das said.
Kartik refused to comment on the issue but Railways coach Abhay Sharma denied any wrongdoing. “No one has spoken to me about this. Maybe the ball was damaged because it hit a metal protrusion outside the boundary,” he said.
There has been a shimmering tension between the two sides since Railways skipper Kartik ‘Mankaded’ Bengal batsman Sandipan Das during the group league encounter at Jamia Milia Cricket Ground in Delhi.
Chaos broke out as Railways’ players were leaving Eden Gardens after the day’s play. A fan, who had been constantly heckling Kartik from the stands, barged into the designated press conference area. He was confronted by Railways medium-pacer Anureet Singh. The two almost came to blows as there was no security personnel.
Asked about the incident, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Jagmohan Dalmiya said: “We will alert the security officers tomorrow.”
Kolkata: Verbals flew thick and fast between the sides. There were ball-tampering allegations and even a scuffle broke out between a cricketer and a fan at Eden Gardens. All these unfortunate incidents shifted focus from what has been continued…