Ravi Bishnoi, Akash Singh among five players reprimanded by ICC after heated final

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has reprimanded five players following the heated Under 19 World Cup final between India and Bangladesh at Potchefstroom in South Africa on Sunday. The two sets of players were involved in an ugly altercation after Bangladesh beat India in a closely contested final by 3 wickets (DLS method) to claim their first ever ICC trophy at any level.

Bangladesh’s Mohammad Towhid Hridoy, Shamim Hossain and Rakibul Hasan while India’s Akash Singh and Ravi Bishnoi have been charged with violating Article 2.21 of the code. Bishnoi received a further charge of breaching Article 2.5.

“The match was hard-fought, as you would expect in an ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Final, but the elation and disappointment experienced by some players after the game spilled over into unedifying scenes that have no place in our sport. Respect is at the very heart of the spirit of cricket, and players are expected to show self-discipline, congratulate the opposition on their successes and enjoy the success of their own team,” Geoff Allardice, ICC General Manager Cricket said in a statement.

“It is disappointing that Code of Conduct charges needed to be laid after such a closely contested match, but it is important to reinforce the standard of behaviour that will be expected of these young players should they transition to senior international cricket,” the statement added.

The spat also turned physical after Rakibul Hasan hit the winning runs and the entire Bangladesh team including their support staff came running onto the field. Reportedly, something was said to the Indian players by the Bangladesh cricketers which did not go down well and the matter soon spiralled into a fight.

“We were easy. We think it’s part and parcel of the game – you win some and you lose some. But their reaction was dirty. I think it shouldn’t have happened. But it’s okay,” ESPN Cricinfo quoted India skipper Priyam Garg as saying.

The winning team’s captain Akbar Ali also stated that the incident should not have had happened and apologised for it.

“What happened, it should not [have] happened. I don’t know what exactly happened. I didn’t ask what was going on. But, you know, in the final, emotion can come out, and sometimes the boys were getting pumped, and emotions were coming through,” Ali said.

Akbar had also issued an apology on his team’s behalf.

“As a youngster, it shouldn’t happen. In any position, in any manner, we have to show the respect to the opponent, we should have respect for the game. Cricket is known for being a gentleman’s game. So I’ll say, I’ll be sorry for my team,” he added.