It was a sight no-one watching the game would expect. Certainly not coming from Mushfiqur Rahim - one of the mainstays of the Bangladesh national team for a long time now, a former captain of his country, and undoubtedly one of the most beloved of the Tigers, as the national team players are affectionately known.
A cool and calm personality, a sense of responsibility and humility are in fact some of the qualities everyone associates with 'Mushy'. He isn't one to be dogged by disciplinary issues or ego problems. Rather his attitude is held up as one of his strongest qualities. So what exactly could have caused his shameful reaction to an on-field misunderstanding with his own junior teammate Nasum Ahmed playing for Beximco Dhaka against Fortune Barishal in Monday's Bangabandhu T20 Cup Eliminator game is anybody's guess.
Neither the incident, nor the final result, went against Dhaka ultimately. They won the game by nine runs and marched to the second Qualifier. Mushfiqur contributed posting 43 runs on the board.
But at the end of the game, the moment Mushfiq lost his cool came to the centre of attention.
The incident took place during the 17th over of Barishal's innings, needing 45 runs off 19 deliveries to win when the dangerous Afif Hossain tried to sneak a boundary off Shafiqul seeing the fielder at fine leg, Nasum, up in the circle. However he only managed to lob it up in Nasum's direction who hardly had to move to take the chance offered but before he could do so, Mushfiqur like a rapier moved across his line of sight and took the catch safely in his wicketkeeper's gloves.
Although positionally it was clearly his catch, Nasum did his best to step back at the last moment and avoid a collision with Mushfiq. But right after completing the catch, Mushfiqur gestured to throw the ball at Nasum from close range, but not actually doing so. Thankfully.
Arguably what was worse was how Mushfiq then proceeded to berate Nasum in a livid manner, when calmly explaining he was the safer option with the gloves would have sufficed. The admonishment from Mushfiq continued till they were joined by teammates who urged Mushfiq to leave it and celebrate the important wicket of Afif.
They also consoled Nasum, who appeared flustered but generally took it fairly well.
It's important to note that the ball wasn't coming down in no man's land or between the two fielders with both taking a chance going for it. It was directly in Nasum's zone and any cricketer in his position would have to go for it.
Mushfiq ran like a hare from behind the stumps to make it, and probably called out for it, but there was no guarantee he would make it. Most importantly, the catch was completed fairly and safely. Why spoil the moment?
At the post-match presentation, Mushfiqur declined from saying anything on the matter despite a question from the presenter. He just said, “a personal improvement” is needed, perhaps acknowledging that it was not a moment he was proud of.
“It was a clear breach of the code of conduct of the players. What he has done is not acceptable. If the field umpires submit a complaint, we’ll take an action against this behaviour, this is what I can ensure you,” a match official of the Bangabandhu T20 Cup told UNB preferring anonymity.
Mushfiqur is being immensely criticized on social media for this incident. Obviously a lot of it is unfair and over the top, but hopefully Mushy takes it professionally as a sign of how much people look up to him and see him as a role model.