Bangladesh – DPL 2021 – Dhaka Premier League match officials caught in clash between police and protesting workers
The two match referees and six umpires managed to get to the BKSP eventually and matches began after a delay
A group of Dhaka Premier League (DPL) match officials escaped major injuries when the car ferrying them to the Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishtan (BKSP) on Saturday morning was attacked during a violent skirmish between protesting garment workers and the police in the Savar industrial area.
Eight officials – match referees Debabrata Paul and Adil Ahmed, and umpires Shafiuddin, Tanvir Ahmed, Abdullah Al Motin, Imran Parvez, Barkatullah Turkey and Sohrab Hossain – were in the car and were on their way to officiate in the two DPL matches scheduled at BKSP on the day. The car was completely smashed. Other vehicles stuck in the tailback were also attacked.
An eyewitness told ESPNcricinfo that thousands of agitated workers attacked the cars that had been held up in traffic in a spree that lasted 15 to 20 minutes. The officials managed to escape with help from local police and BCB security personnel. While there were no serious injuries, broken windows had left glass shards on the officials. Once away from the scene, the officials managed to tidy up and find their way to BKSP, and the games were held after a 30-minute delay.
Kazi Inam Ahmed, the chairman of the cricket committee of Dhaka Metropolis, called it an “unfortunate incident”, adding, “The match officials showed great courage in the face of such an incident. They could start the matches at 9.30am. The match officials had a police escort but four of them were facing thousands of people in that protest.”
On each match day of this season’s DPL T20 tournament, four matches are held at the BKSP, the country’s biggest sports institute, which has two grounds. The match officials, who are staying in one hotel in Dhaka within a BCB bio-secure bubble, take the 40-kilometre journey to the ground together.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84