Calcutta: In a bizarre incident, the national one-day (East Zone) match between Bengal and Orissa at the Eden on Tuesday witnessed a delayed start because one of the umpires did not turn up, prompting the Match Referee to stand in his place till alternative arrangements were made.
M.S. Ranawat of Rajasthan was to officiate along with S.D. Ranade in the match. When Match Referee Ram Babu Gupta, a former international umpire himself, found the Udaipur-based official failing to contact him till Monday night, he decided to seek help from the BCCI officials here to ensure alternative arrangements were made. Accordingly, city-based umpire Aloke Bhattacharya was asked to be present at the Eden in the morning.
Ranawat didn't show up at the scheduled start at 8.45 am. And since Bhattacharya can't officiate in a match involving Bengal, he was sent to the Jadavpur University's Salt Lake Campus ground for the Jharkhand-Assam match. UP's S.C. Gupta was brought to the Eden from the Salt Lake ground to officiate with Ranade.
The match finally started at 9 am. Match Referee Gupta was the square-leg umpire for four overs, while Ranade stood at the bowler's end on each occasion. S.C. Gupta took over thereafter. 'Ranawat didn't communicate with me (about his absence). So I decided to stand as an umpire,' the Match Referee later said.
Assam's Sukhwinder Singh bid farewell to first-class cricket on Tuesday, after seeing his team crash to a 25-run defeat to Jharkhand at Salt Lake's Jadavpur University campus ground on Tuesday. Assam required to make 178 to avoid conceding a bonus point. They managed it, but fell short of the winning target.
Jharkhand 223/6 in 50 ovs (Chandra Mohan Jha 81, M. Vardhan 76, M.S. Dhoni 21; Yadhav 3/42, Sukhwinder Singh 2/40). Assam 198 (Zakaria Zufri 41; S. Nadim 5/30). Jharkhand won by 25 runs.