The Mumbai Cricket Association’s (MCA) Kanga League ‘A’ Division match between Mumbai Police and Parsee Gymkhana took a bizarre turn when the on-field official, first class umpire Chandrakant Mhase, refused to turn up on the second day of a two-day game, allegedly because he was threatened on the morning of the day’s play.
On Saturday, the first day of the game at Cross Maidan in Churchgate, Mhase had a heated argument with the police team at the end of day’s play. On Sunday, according to fellow umpires in the MCA, Mhase was stopped near Azad Maidan by two people on a bike and allegedly threatened. The men who threatened him were wearing helmets. Rattled, Mhase informed MCA officials and told them that he will be not officiate the police game any longer.
Parsee Gymkhana secretary Khodadad Yazdagerdi said this it is not the first time such an incident has taken place. What triggered the chain of events was umpire Mhase warning Mumbai Police’s medium-pacer, constable Prashant Auti, for chucking. Later, police team manager Rajesh Tandel, a constable, allegedly threatened Mhase that he would see to it that the umpire doesn’t get any matches in the future.
“They had a heated argument on Saturday after their bowler was warned for chucking. Their manager Tandel, who is captain of Dadar Union, had no business intervening after the game. They threatened the umpire and the next day he didn’t turn up. Later, we got to know he was accosted and we were forced to find a replacement umpire. I have submitted my written complaint to MCA and will wait to see what action the association takes against the police team,” Yazdagerdi said.
Meanwhile, Tandel admitted that a heated argument had taken place after Mhase told Auti that “it will take only three balls to finish his career”.
“How can he say this? The issue could have been sorted out in a better manner. If you want to warn a bowler, there should be a proper manner to do it. I never threatened the umpire, nor did my team. For us, the issue ended on Saturday and we don’t know why he didn’t turn up on Sunday. We never threatened him, whatever we must have said was in the heat of the moment, but we closed the chapter there itself,” Tandel explained.
Asked about being intimidated by the Mumbai Police team, Mhase refused to comment on the issue and said that he will “submit a report to the Board of Umpires in MCA”.