Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Cricket: Umpiring blunders

Yesterday at Adelaide India struggled home after the hiccups, thanks to three run outs, including the unlucky one for Jayawardane, while Sri Lanka batted, and Yuvaraj Singh’s return to form. Team India is to be congratulated.
Dhoni’s team should have won the previous game as well. But before dealing with that let me tell you about a thought provoking post
Empowering umpires by E R Ramachandran and an equally important comment by Dinakar KR.
Umpiring blunders have been there all along. Now technology brings the bad decisions to the public glare. Among other important things
E R Ramachandran says, “With increasing commercialization , wrong decisions during critical stage of a match can indeed take the game away which is neither good for the sides playing the game, nor for the game and finally not for the paying spectator.”
Dinakar KR. points out that too much involvement of technology would take away the thrills. What I would suggest is that technology should be available to the field umpires if they feel the need. If an umpire is not clear about an LBW or a tricky catch, he should have access to the Third Umpire like in the case of run outs and stumpings.
There is a risk of field umpires becoming over dependent on this facility. That could slow down the game and make it boring. The problem could be tackled by grading the umpires taking into account the number of times they call on the Third Umpire for decision making.
Back to the current Australian tour. Dhoni has the potential to develop into a good captain. But he has to modify certain traits. It is understandable if he feels some discomfort with having senior players on the side. The latest indication of this is the exclusion of Sehwag. Dhoni should learn to take counsel of experienced players if he feels the need.
I have said this earlier – a captain doesn’t have to talk except when necessary. Dhoni might not have realized it, but he sounded subjective and not objective when he said after the debacle against Australia on February 17. “… (Yuvraj) will play all the remaining games.” Is it advisable for a captain to disclose his plans well in advance?
Arguably we would have won that match but for the 4 overs costing 22 runs Yuvraj bowled. He can be effective if used astutely. But in this instance we had gone in with five specialist bowlers and among them four overs were left. And, as Ravi Shastri said, “Sending Irfan Pathan at number three was a huge mistake.”
Instinct and intuition get fine tuned with experience. Dhoni seems to be on the right track when he said about the Adelaide defeat that ‘it was a good learning lap’.
All said and done, Dhoni and his boys are capable of winning the CB series. Let us wish them luck.
Also see: Cricket in remote areas


ER Ramachandran said...

I think you make a good point that we should use technology whenever there is a doubt.The field umpire should be encouraged to take the help of technology whenever he is not sure.There is no disgrace when you miss a faint tickle in front of a cheering crowd.In fact getting it right should be the objective of the group of umpires rather than stand on reputation of a 'Great' umpire etc. Umpires get stressed out like anybody else and is tougher standing in one place and concentrate all the time. This will only help the umpires to do their job better. The whole idea is to try and minimise errors and help the umpires and technolgy, since it is available should be used.This will come one of these days, for sure.

Maddy said...

like everything - cricket has to evolve with times and technolgy. even with fresh and happy umpires, the pressure of the game will mean that the ruling of his heart will sometimes take over his ruling with his mind. That is human fallacy. and this will upset the stake holders - the viewers and the sponsors. It is no longer the sunday gentlemans club game - where it was a game for the players without viewers.

so when technolgy is available, it should be used. like in baseball & american football. see the umpires with those wireless gear over their ears. they call it UIS umpire information systems and there is more!!

Abraham Tharakan said...

Thanks maddy for the comment and the leads.