International cricket has changed over the years and the Decision Review System (DRS) is helping out both the players and the umpires to sort out many crucial decisions with the help of infrastructure available to clear the doubt. This includes LBW decisions and Hashim Amla became the 10,000th LBW victim in the test series against Sri Lanka. LBW decisions are very tricky as the umpires get a split of a moment to decide about it. The 140 year Test history saw the striker intercepting the ball going to the stumps with his pads instead of bat pay price for having prevented the bowler from getting a wicket and thereby the rule is applied to dismiss the batsman out LBW. From Harry Jupe to Hashim Amla there would have been thousands of disgruntled batsmen questioning the umpire’s decision. But to overcome this disparity, we have now DRS and that vouchsafe the authority of the umpires with fair decisions. Umpiring is a thankless job and the dubious decisions even spoil the academic interest of matches in the past. With capacity crowd in the stadiums umpires are not able to hear the sound of bat touching the ball before crashing on to the pads, or the impact is high or away from the line of trajectory or the ball pitching outside leg stump all is to be considered. However, the main point is that whether the ball would hit the wicket or not come first before handing over the decision.
An umpire should be professional in the best sense of the word phlegmatic, unobtrusive, dignified, courteous of absolute integrity and ever prepared to discharge his duties fearlessly and impartially. The good umpire is dedicated to the task of conducting a game. This needs the highest possible standard of umpiring and he devotes a portion of his leisure to studying, refreshing debating points of law and interpretation and improving his technique in every way seeking to ensure that he becomes a master of his craft. The finest umpires are those who appear to make the fewest mistakes. Even our best umpires can be mistaken in fact, but the possibility of errors may be reduced by acquiring a thorough knowledge of the Laws of the Game and by unremitting concentration.
The Striker shall be out LBW even if the ball is intercepted outside the line of the off-stump, if, in the opinion of the Umpire, he has made no genuine attempt to play the ball with his bat, but has intercepted the ball with some part of his person and if the circumstances set out in (a) above apply.
To err is human but erring always is favouritism. In Asian pitches the ball tend to keep low and the umpires having less knowledge about the law may raise the finger in the available time but that may not be right if you look at the action replay. It is time to have full proof system and the umpires should be empowered to change his decision when an appeal was made and disallowed. Third umpire or the TV umpire should intervene and change the decision right before the dismissed batman cross the boundary line adjoining the pavilion.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)