Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Refereeing the Refs

I know, they are called "Umpires" in cricket, not referees, but the point is that there is a need for some clear and decisive actions. Umpires can have a bad day in the field and sometimes even a whole string of bad days as we just saw in Sydney. But umpires are human too and they have their weaknesses and their off days just like anyone else. Why not relieve them of their misery if they arent having a good day or good season?

I have heard that an umpires performance is being monitored in the third umpires room and that he is either retained or asked to move on from the elite panel based on this assessment. But what if an umpire has a really bad test match (I dont care about one dayers or 20/20 games)? Shouldnt he be replaced quietly and pro-actively by the ICC for the remainder of the series? Does a team have to cry foul and threaten a possible boycott for a poor umpire to be replaced?

Make no mistake - threatening to boycott a game or tour is rubbish... Pakistan were wrong to do it at the Oval and India must not do it (because of the umpiring) in Australia. But other sports such as the NFL have a great system where all games are taped, poor umpiring decisions are taped and a copy of those decisions is sent to the Chairman of the NFL within hours. Referees that made poor performances are given feedback and even removed from duty from the next weekends games. Call it whatever you want but it is better than the current system in Cricket. It doesnt reverse a poor decision but it does vindicate the aggrieved to an extent and also lets the umpire know that he doesnt have to wait till the end of the cricketing season to get the boot.

I know Im rambling on a bit but thats because of the incompetency of the ICC. Today they have said that Bucknor has been removed from the next test not because of India's complaints but because he had a poor test. Why couldnt they have done this earlier? I also thing that a code of conduct should be applied to sides that complain too vocally about an umpire, behind the scene objections are ok but statements in the press are not kosher. The ICC should have the final say - it should act faster and it should act in a more decisive manner. After all, what good is a sport if its governing body isnt in control of matters

Make your pitch on this post...

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2 Pitched:

  1. Q said...

    Not only have the ICC removed Bucknor but they have also appointed Ranjan Madugalle to oversee the match referee Mike Proctor.

    I think the overall umpiring standard is quite an issue. But for some reason i refuse to believe that this was one bad test. Theres more to it with Bucknor holding things against the Indians and Benson joining in.

    I think the ICC should also have a retirement age for umpires. Surely 61, bucknor's age, is too high. Batsmen claim that beyond 40 sighting the ball becomes more and more difficult. How is it any different for the umpires.

    Someone on TV made an interesting point about having shifts for test umpires. Like having different ones for each session on each day. After all it is the umpires who have to stand there for 5 days for 90 overs each day. More than any player. So maybe umpires in shifs will increase their concentration and efficiency.

  2. Anonymous said...

    I am with you Obaid.An umpire should be replaced before matters get out of hand.

    Bucknor and Hair are two examples.Their bias was well known.

    Why have them?

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