Umpiring in domestic games

Makarand Waingankar (whose son Kshemal put on an impressive bowling performace for CCI against England in the opening tour game last week) makes some valid points in the latest edition of The Sportstar on the quality of domestic umpiring.
Talking to the umpires in India, one gets the impression that they are not inclined to invite controversy as it might jeopardise their chances of getting more postings. This is a valid point. Let the committee assessing the umpires be made up of neutral umpires. If we can get a foreigner to coach the Indian team and also get the support staff from abroad, why not have three neutral (i.e. international) umpires in the Umpires' Assessment Panel?

Inefficient umpiring is one of the main reasons for the poor standard of Indian cricket. At times, the interpretation of the laws of the game is so inconsistent that one wonders how such umpires get postings in the first place. No wonder then, that shrewd cricketers take full advantage of incompetent umpiring.

Captains and coaches of teams have been complaining for the past five years that veteran UP Ranji player Gyanendra Pandey has consistently managed to avoid fielding, and in the finals of the Ranji Trophy this year his substitute took a brilliant catch to dismiss Laxmiratan Shukla when Bengal needed 14 runs for the vital first innings lead. That cost Bengal the Ranji Trophy.

Penalising players for misbehaviour is not a permanent solution to problems. Get rid of incompetent umpires; have a proper assessment system, only then will we get to watch good quality cricket in India.


Can't help laughing at the Pandey bit. It is a matter of worry that India has not had a single decent umpire after Venkatraghavan's retirement. It is also a matter of concern that the average Indian fan prefers having neutral umpires on both ends during the ODIs at home (The fans just don't trust the judgement skills of the current lot).

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