Tuesday, September 28, 2021
HomeOpinionDiaryCricket umpiring, a thankless job — Part II

Cricket umpiring, a thankless job — Part II

An umpire should be professional in the best sense of the word phlegmatic, unobtrusive, dignified, courteous of absolute integrity and very much prepared to discharge his duties fearlessly and impartially. The good umpire is dedicated to the task of conducting a game so that the players get the utmost enjoyment from it. This needs the highest possible standard of umpiring and he devotes a portion of his leisure to studying, refreshing debating points of law and reinterpretation 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.  Without the ability to concentrate, or the self-discipline to attain concentration, all else is to no avail. The margin of error should be less and not glaring. Again, the umpire should not have the habit of compensating their earlier mistake by giving a wrong dismissal.

Once I was officiating a TNCA League match at Chennai and some of the team’s members were considered to be showing rough behaviour and go the extent of beating opposite team players and umpires with cycle chain, if something goes wrong against their wishes. As the match ended the notorious team captain lost the match but shook hands with me for my exemplary standard of umpiring. That saved me the day as the match went up to the mandatory overs stage. Umpiring is really thankless job. Reading more books on cricket umpiring and attending seminar on umpiring at the highest level and going through cricket umpiring question answers will help you to learn the finer points of umpiring.

It is quite imperative to note that players learn by experience. When Gary Sobers was asked to follow-on in West Indies in a match curtailed by rain for four days, the leeway ought to be 150 runs and not 200 runs as in the case of five day game. Gary was surprised but quickly learned from the mistake. It is all in the game. At times umpires forced to give decision so that an outright win can be possible to attain points in a league game. Again, if you give a star batsman out LBW, the fielding side will look at you with a strange look as you committed a murder.

The good umpire is dedicated to the task of conducting a game so that the players get the utmost enjoyment from it. 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. Without the ability to concentrate, or the self-discipline to attain concentration, all else is to no avail.

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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