Players stood bemused and proceedings came to a standstill during a first division league match in Kolkata as two umpires almost came to blows. Prasenjit Banerjee and Sabyasachi Sarkar were the umpires involved in the match between Paikpara Sporting and Kolkata Port Trust at Tala Park on Wednesday and the latter protested to the CAB through a written complaint.
It started with a quarrel over a decision given by Banerjee, umpire at the bowler’s end. Sarkar, from his position at square-leg, reportedly interfered in the bowling-end call and tried to correct a “mistake” made by his partner. The ball went past the batsman and on to the fine leg boundary. Banarjee signalled four runs. The argument broke out when the wicket-keeper joined in as the umpires walked back for a break, apparently having a confrontation between themselves.
Sarkar accused Banerjee of profanity, submitting a two-page report to the CAB, demanding “justice”. According to his version of events, Sarkar interfered only when Banarjee “abused” the wicket-keeper, who had questioned his colleague’s decision. “Banerjee suddenly started to abuse the Port Trust wicketkeeper when he questioned a decision. He was calling names, so I intervened but he used very filthy language to insult me. He even questioned the authenticity of my BCCI badge. I’ve reported the matter to the CAB and have demanded justice,” Sarkar told The Indian Express.
Banerjee simply rubbished the allegations and described his umpiring partner as “deranged”. He says he was forced into the confrontation when the Port Trust wicket-keeper and Sarkar mocked over what they claimed was a wrong decision. “I mentored him (Sarkar) throughout his career and helped him when he was blacklisted by the CAB for close to two years (because of his performance),” Banerjee said.
“A delivery from a Port Trust bowler brushed the gloves of Paikpara’s Subham Chatterjee and went to the boundary. So it was a four off the bat but Sarkar, from his position at square leg, was repeatedly indicating that the ball had brushed the thigh pad. At the end of the over the Port Trust ‘keeper jeered me, saying that my umpiring partner was laughing at my decision.
“I told him to mind his business but Sarkar barged in and said I was wrong not to signal leg-byes. I told him he must concentrate on his job and shouldn’t interfere. He told me I knew nothing about umpiring. He continued with his verbal tirade during tea. What he did was a gross violation of umpiring ethics,” Banerjee contended.
CAB joint-secretary Sujan Mukherjee admitted that Sarkar, who’s a BCCI-panel umpire, was not given any matches for two years because he had “issues with his colleagues” and had a question mark “over his conduct”. “The matter will be referred to the umpires’ committee which will look into it,” Mukherjee said.