Just as Bangladesh seemed relieved after passing the first hurdle in the qualifying rounds, edging the Netherlands on Wednesday, the ICC spoiled their peace of mind when they shot an official letter stating that they are “concerned” with the bowling action of medium pacer Taskin Ahmed and left-arm spinner Sunny Arafat.
This means they are required to clear the action in a week’s time, though, they can continue to play until they are cleared by an ICC-accredited lab, the closest being in Chennai.
However, since the condition states that they should undergo the test within seven days, they could miss the main-round matches, that is if they qualify. Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha was understandably dismayed over the timing of the communication and he didn’t restrain his anger. “If they have a concern about my bowlers, I have a concern about their actions as well. don’t see anything wrong. They have bowled the same way as the last 12 months. As you said if they [the ICC officials] have officiated the matches they have been playing, they must have seen something different yesterday. That’s all I can say,” he fumed.
He pointed out that it was the same officials – match referee Andy Pycroft, who expressed the “concern” over the action in his report and on-field umpire Rod Tucker – who had officiated in Bangladesh’s 2-1 series win over India last year, but couldn’t find anything illegal with the bowlers’ action. He then defiantly insisted that they wouldn’t change their action overnight.
“It’s about how you take it. As bowlers they are strong enough to understand what they are doing is right. We also think that we have no concern. They have played so much cricket, recently as well. It is a surprise for us. We have to take their concerns. But they are only concerns at this stage. I don’t think it will affect the way we are playing.”
The other officials of the game were on-field umpire S Ravi and third umpire Chris Gaffaney.
This will be a body blow for Bangladesh as they are already fretting over the fitness of left-arm seamer Muztafizur Rahman. In his absence, the 20-year-old Taskin especially has impressed, bowling with pace and control. Sunny, whose two over against the Dutch cost just 10 runs, is a canny bowler on sluggish surfaces. Also, both of them haven’t been reported before.
Meanwhile, an ICC media release stated that they are now working with the Bangladesh team management to confirm the date for testing. “The ICC is working with the Bangladesh cricket team management to confirm times for the independent testing of both bowlers at the ICC-accredited testing centre in Chennai. The ICC regulations state every reasonable effort shall be made for the Independent Assessment to be carried out and the Independent Assessment Report furnished within a period of seven days from the date of receipt of the Match Officials’ Report,” it read. Both of them will, in all probability, feature against Ireland on Friday, but it has be seen how the incident will affect them mentally.