Umpire Tanveer Ahmed Excluded from upcoming India-Bangladesh Women’s Series to avoid controversy

In July of last year (2023), India’s tour of Bangladesh made headlines, often for the wrong reasons, as accusations of biased umpiring were leveled against the home umpires. As India prepares for their upcoming tour of Bangladesh, it is understood that the controversial umpire will not be part of the panel for this series.

Umpire Tanveer Ahmed Excluded from upcoming India-Bangladesh Women's Series to avoid controversy
Umpire Tanveer Ahmed Excluded from upcoming India-Bangladesh Women’s Series to avoid controversy

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has confirmed that umpire Tanveer Ahmed will not officiate in the upcoming five-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series against India. This decision was made by the BCB to safeguard their umpire from potentially being targeted once again by the visiting team.

Quoting a BCB official as sourced from Cricbuzz, “I think if he is included in the upcoming home series against India women’s team there is a possibility he can again be at the receivers end considering Indian women cricketers might target him and we don’t want that to happen and as a result, we decided not to include him for the series involving Bangladesh and India women’s team.”

However, the chairman of the board’s umpire’s committee, Iftekhar Ahmed Mithu, differed in his stance, stating that the decision to exclude Tanveer was made to ensure his availability for the upcoming home series against Zimbabwe that follows the India series. Quoting Iftekhar, “Yes, Tanveer is not included in the list of match officials for the home series against India women’s team as we want him to be involved in the home series against Zimbabwe, and both the series will be played side by side.”

Throughout India’s tour of Bangladesh in 2023, there was no Decision Review System (DRS) available. The India team alleged that several close calls had favored Bangladesh. The controversy escalated when Harmanpreet Kaur was given out, despite the ball seeming to have made contact with her pads rather than the bat. Yastika Bhatia had also fallen victim to a questionable umpiring decision in the same game, which ended in a tie.

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Harmanpreet, in the post-match conference, didn’t mince her words in calling out the umpiring decisions. She stated, “I mentioned earlier some pathetic umpiring was done and we are really disappointed about some decisions given by the umpires… the kind of umpiring that was happening we were very surprised. The next time when we come to Bangladesh we will make sure we have to deal with this type of umpiring and prepare ourselves accordingly.”

Besides smashing her bat to the stumps upon her dismissal, Harmanpreet also gestured to the umpires to join the Bangladesh team for a photo session, for their involvement in the series outcome. The International Cricket Council (ICC) took note of her actions and imposed a two-match ban.

Notably, in the post-series press conference, her deputy, Smriti Mandhana, addressed the issue of biased umpiring, stating, “In some matches, you are really not happy with the decisions especially when there is no DSR. We kind of expect a better level of umpiring. It was very evident, that there was no second thought given when the ball was hitting the pad when our batters were batting, there was no second thought given before raising the finger. I am sure that ICC, BCB, and BCCI will have a discussion on his and a neutral umpiring system.”

Following Smriti’s mention of neutral umpiring in her press conference, the ICC implemented the system. This year, England’s Sue Redfern made history as the first ICC-appointed female neutral umpire in a bilateral series. Meanwhile, Australia’s Claire Polosak is currently officiating as an on-field umpire in the white-ball matches between Pakistan and West Indies.

Also Read:  Habiba Islam Pinky becomes 2nd youngest Bangladeshi to debut at age 14

With the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup set to take place later this year in Bangladesh, the upcoming series holds immense importance for India as they aim to finalize their squad for the tournament and gain valuable experience in the local conditions. While Bangladesh’s preparations for the series are underway, India will begin theirs on the 23rd, for the series scheduled from the 28th of April to the 9th of May.

Bangladesh v India series schedule:

DATE MATCH TIME
28-Apr-24 1st T20I 6:00 PM
30-Apr-24 2nd T20I 6:00 PM
02-May-24 3rd T20I 1:30 PM
06-May-24 4th T20I 1:30 PM
09-May-24 5th T20I 6:00 PM

*All games will be played at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium (SICS), Sylhet

Squads:

Bangladesh – Nigar Sultana Joty (C), Nahida Akter (VC), Murshida Khatun, Sobhana Mostary, Shorna Akter, Ritu Moni, Rabeya Khan, Sultana Khatun, Fahima Khatun, Marufa Akter, Fariha Islam Trisna, Shorifa Khatun, Dilara Akter, Rubya Haider Jhelik, Habiba Islam Pinky

India – Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Smriti Mandhana (VC), Shafali Verma, Dayalan Hemalatha, Sajana Sajeevan, Richa Ghosh (WK), Yastika Bhatia (WK), Radha Yadav, Deepti Sharma, Pooja Vastrakar, Amanjot Kaur, Shreyanka Patil, Saika Ishaque, Asha Sobhana, Renuka Singh Thakur, Titas Sadhu

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