International Cricket Council (ICC) President AHM Mustafa Kamal was denied the opportunity to hand over the World Cup 2015 trophy to winning captain Michael Clarke at Melbourne today.
As per the ICC’s constitution it is the president who is supposed to hand over the trophy, but ICC Chairman Narayanswami Srinivasan handed it over instead.
The practice is one that has been followed since the 1999 World Cup.
However to the dismay of many in Bangladesh’s cricketing fraternity, that opportunity was taken away from Kamal allegedly due to the ill-advised comments that Kamal, former Bangladesh Cricket Board president, made following the India-Bangladesh quarterfinal.
Kamal, who was not invited on stage during the post-match presentation and also was not given a place in the president’s box, described the move as unconstitutional.
“According to the constitution it is my responsibility to give away the trophy. I don’t want to say much now because there are legal issues here. However, once I return to Bangladesh, I will, through the media, let the whole cricketing community know as to what’s happening in the ICC,” a distraught Kamal told The Daily Star over his cell phone from Melbourne today.
“I would have probably been giving the trophy to the champions today, but for that I would have had to betray my country. You all know why I wasn’t able to give the trophy. That’s because I spoke on behalf of my country; I spoke for cricket; I spoke for the ICC. That is the reason why I couldn’t give the trophy,” he added.
Earlier, Kamal had criticised some questionable umpiring decisions in the quarterfinal clash between India and Bangladesh. He described the umpiring as “poor” and also accused the umpires of having “an agenda” during the game.
He was particularly harsh on a no-ball decision that went against Bangladesh and also criticised the ICC for churning out phrases on the screens at the ground during the game that supported India.
It was learnt that the decision to usurp Kamal’s role was taken during a quickly-arranged “informal” meeting on Saturday afternoon with Srinivasan, who actually did not like Kamal’s outburst but refrained from making any comment publicly, pulling all the strings.
Despite communicating with ICC Media Manager Samiul Hassan via email, the Daily Star could not get any official response on this sensitive issue.