Bangladesh’s stand-in captain, Najmul Hossain Shanto, has strongly dismissed claims suggesting intentional play by spinner Nasum Ahmed during the World Cup face-off against India. The controversy revolves around a delivery that Ahmed bowled when Virat Kohli was tantalizingly close to a century, standing strong at 97.
The incident occurred with India just two runs shy of their 257-run target. With nine overs still to go, Ahmed’s delivery went astray down the leg side, a potential wide ball. To the astonishment of many, on-field umpire Richard Kettleborough did not judge it as such.
Replays showed that there was clear gap between the bowl, and the bat or any part of Virat Kohli. In fact, expecting a wide ball, Kohli even gave a stare to the bowler!
However, Kohli, ever the cricketing maestro, did not let the stray delivery deter him. A mere couple of deliveries later, during the 42nd over, he sent the ball soaring over deep midwicket, ending the game on a glorious six and securing his well-deserved century.
This brilliant shot cemented India’s comfortable victory in the match. Virat Kohli finished the match with a swashbuckling score of 103 not out.
In the wake of their third consecutive defeat, Shanto was quick to come to Ahmed’s defense, underlining that there was no ulterior motive behind the bowl.
Speaking to the media on Thursday, Shanto emphasized, “There was no specific plan around that delivery. It was a standard play. No bowler walks into a game with the intention to bowl a wide ball. Our goal was to play a proper game. It wasn’t intentional.”
This clarification from the stand-in captain aims to put to rest the murmurs of intentional play and emphasizes the spirit of the game that both teams aimed to uphold during the World Cup clash.