On the cricketing side, the first three days of the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BBPL) has been a little dull with one-sided matches and low totals being the norm. However, intrigue of an unsavoury kind already seems to have gripped the tournament as two media outlets reported on Friday that Sylhet Thunders had ‘verbal requested’ the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to launch an investigation into bowler Krishmar Santokie’s bizarre no-ball in Wednesday’s BBPL opener against Chattogram Challengers.
In the second over of Chattogram’s chase, Santokie’s first, the left-arm pacer bowled a wide that landed on the edge of the strip and two balls later, overstepped the mark by more than a foot – a margin that is highly unusual for professional cricketers. It raised eyebrows in Bangladesh and abroad, with social media lighting up with comparisons to a similar no-ball from Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir in 2010 against England at Lord’s, which formed the basis for a spot-fixing charge and a five-year ban.
The media reports quoted a Sylhet official as saying that the no-ball was suspicious and that the official had verbally requested BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury and anti-corruption head Abu Mohammed Humayun Morshed to investigate the matter.
The CEO, however, would neither confirm nor deny receipt of the request from Sylhet Thunder.
“We cannot make comments on such issues until and unless there is concrete evidence,” Nizamuddin told The Daily Star yesterday.
As part of a heightened effort to stamp out corruption from the BBPL, the BCB had earlier said that each team will be tagged with an agent from the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit.
Santokie played Sylhet’s second match against Rajshahi Royals yesterday, getting out for a golden duck and conceding 15 runs from his solitary over.
The BPL was previously rocked by a spot-fixing scandal in 2013, which led to Mohammad Ashraful and others being banned.