Goldens boycott DPL Qualifier as Mahendranagar play Attariya for titleNational team vice-captain Gyanendra Malla-led Kathmandu Goldens on Friday set a bad precedent in domestic franchise cricket after they boycotted the second Qualifier against Mahendranagar United in the Dhangadhi Premier League on Friday.
National team vice-captain Gyanendra Malla-led Kathmandu Goldens on Friday set a bad precedent in domestic franchise cricket after they boycotted the second Qualifier against Mahendranagar United in the Dhangadhi Premier League on Friday.
In a protest against tournament technical committee decision of suspending their Indian recruit Ankit Dabas from bowling for illegal action, Goldens boycotted the second Qualifier and didn’t turn up at the Fapla Cricket Ground. The franchise has also threatened the organisers of not competing in the upcoming editions.
This is the first time that any team has boycotted a match in the history of Nepali franchise cricket. Dabas, a right-arm spinner, was suspended from bowling on Thursday after the technical committee, headed by international umpire Buddhi Bahadur Pradhan, deemed his bowling as illegal. The Goldens’ boycott has put United directly into Saturday’s final where they will take on Dipendra Singh Airee’s CYC Attariya.
Match referee Sameer Khan said the refusal of Goldens to play the final has made United the automatic winner according to the International Cricket Council (ICC) and DPL playing condition. Dabas’ bowling action was found illegal in the last two matches of the tournament.
Surprisingly, Goldens team manager Sanjay Shrestha said the move was not against the spirit of the game. “We are not competing in the Qualifier against the technical committee’s decision to ban Ankit from bowling. I don’t think we cannot say we will not play. Its just a franchise league and we can do whatever we want to do. The umpires cannot always threaten the players in the name of ICC regulations and code of conduct,” said Shrestha.
“There should also be some room for players to correct themselves. The umpires, technical committee and coaches are entitled to make players but not suspend them directly,” added Shrestha. But Shrestha’s statement contradicted with what technical committee head Pradhan told the media on Friday.
“We had informed Goldens about his suspicious bowling action from the beginning. We always take to video analysis whenever we suspect a bowler. Although it didn’t repeat frequently, the last two games — league’s last game and first Qualifier — we found that his bowling was illegal,” informed Pradhan.
“We reported about his (Dabas’) action in the league’s last match and told the team to correct it. But he didn’t come up with correction in the first Qualifier and we later found out that the team had not even informed it to the player. The bowling action was even poor in the first Qualifier so we had to double report it. We had already told the team and skippers that if a bowler is double reported, he won’t be able to bowl anymore,” added Pradhan.
Shrestha was adamant on his decision. Its a franchise league and no one can force us or put us under pressure to play. We told the organisers to let Ankit play but they comply. So why should we go to the ground?,” asked Shrestha himself a former domestic cricketer having previously played for the same team in the first edition of the DPL and had stints with Region No 3 Kathmandu and Nepal Armed Police Force Club.
Dabas was declared the man-of-the-match in all three matches that Goldens won in the league stage. He has scored 153 runs — just three runs sigh of tournament’s leading scorer Sunny Patel of Attariya. He has also taken six wickets with a
United skipper Sharad Vesawkar was not happy to reach final in the most unconvincing way. “I think its an unfortunate situation. This has happened for the first time in domestic league. It was the decision of technical committee and we cannot do anything about it,” said Vesawkar.
“We were not aware about it and we came here to play the game. We don’t know what emotions they are going through now. Its a big tournament and to reach the final without playing the game is not what everyone would like,” added Vesawkar. “If the technical committee has the evidence, we have to accept it. I think we got a rest day for the final and we will stay focused,” he added.