‘Haven’t seen such inconsistent umpiring’ – Bangladesh team director Khaled Mahmud bats for neutral umpires amid howlers in Durban Test

Khaled Mahmud. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Bangladesh team director Khaled Mahmud wasn’t quite happy with a lot of decisions from the umpires that went against the visitors on the fourth day of the Durban Test and has urged the ICC to look into the matter. The fourth day’s play saw as many as seven decisions being changed by the third umpire after the DRS referrals were taken as the on-field umpires Adrian Thomas Holdstock and his senior partner Marais Erasmus weren’t at their best throughout the day.

Amid the restrictions due to Covid-19 resulting in spending time in bio-bubbles, the ICC has been appointing umpires for international fixtures from the host nation and Mahmud has claimed it to have taken a toll on their winning chances. South Africa set a target of 274 to chase down Bangladesh and the Mominul Haque-led side will resume the final day with 263 to get with just seven wickets in hand.

We would have been chasing 180 instead of 270: Khaled Mahmud

Mahmud highlighted the importance of the umpire’s role in Tests and claimed that a lot of decisions had gone against Bangladesh on the fourth day which had an impact on the target set by the hosts.

“I think umpires play a big role behind a Test match and a lot of this depends on their decisions. Since morning everyone has seen the umpiring and there is nothing to hide. There were certain decisions that went against us and if that was not the case we would have been chasing 180 instead of 270,” Mahmud told reporters after the game.

Mahmud also noted that the team respects the decisions of umpires but rated the umpiring level to be very inconsistent. He requested the ICC to reintroduce neutral umpires after referring to the decision that went in favour of Keegan Petersen, who was trapped in front of the stumps while batting on 14 and later moved to 36 to help South Africa stitch a second-wicket partnership of 68 runs.

“Umpires are the judges and we respect them but we could have picked up a wicket by taking a review but out of fear we did not go for it.  To be honest, I haven’t seen such inconsistent umpiring for a long time. Now everything is open and we feel ICC should see if neutral umpires can be provided,” he added.

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