By Ousman G Darboe
A rare situation was seen at the cricket game over the weekend when ball shortage was the reason of a match postponement in the Gambia’s cricket league.
Cricket players expressed their disappointments towards The Gambia cricket domestic league T-20 tournament organizers after ComAfrique and Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) match was postponed due to the unavailability of cricket ball.
CompAfrique were the first team to bat in the first innings and they were to bowl in the second innings with a new ball as the rules of cricket states.
Cricket just like any other international game, has its own rules. In rule 4.3 of the cricket game has it that, unless an agreement to the contrary has been made before the match, either captain may demand a new ball at the start of each inning.
In the case of Saturday’s game, no prior communication was sent neither the two captains nor the Umpires were aware of the circumstance.
It was until the first innings ended, just at the beginning of the second innings, the captain for ComAfrique cricket club requested a new ball but the only answer he could hear was “there is no ball, this is the only ball available.”
Many players see it as a violation of the cricket rules and a total setback for the game.
Mbaye Dumbuya the former Vice President of The Gambia cricket association, former captain of the national cricket team was the main Umpire between ComAfrique and GPA cricket club.
He stated that he asked the match commissioner why they brought only one ball for the match, and the response was that the balls were not many so they brought one ball to ‘economize the balls.’
For Dumbuya, this is not a fair play because it will be advantageous to one team while disadvantageous to the other.
“It was not communicated to me that the balls were not available, if this was communicated, I would have call both captains to inform them when we were taking the toast so that they will decide if we going to proceed with the game with the only ball available for the two innings.”
When asked if the move was a violation of the laws Dumbuya responded “it is a violation of the rules, it does not matter whether it is international or domestic cricket rules are the same.”
Andreh Jarju is the Captain of ComAfrique and says “bad leadership is the cause of the unfortunate situation.”
He expressed that the match commissioner came to the cricket ground (oval) without informing the two captains about the condition of the day’s match.
Jarju blamed the leadership of The Gambia cricket association for the poor organization of the league.
Jarju said that he has not seen any positive future for The Gambia cricket if things do not change because of the abnormalities in the country’s cricket association.
After approaching Jamiu Falana who was identified as the match commissioner for the day to give his side of the story, Jamiu stated “interview? I don’t have that time; I am not going to talk.”
In March this year, the main sponsor of the country’s cricket association Andrew H. Shanks accused the leadership of misuse of funds and corruption.
Shanks told journalists that he has been sending cricket equipment worth millions of Dalasi since 2008 while no positive development was made.