Saturday, July 31, 2021
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Too err is human

The game of cricket is considered a religion in India and thus we go so far to help Team India win by hook or crook.  Having witnessed the game at the highest level for five decades, I felt it is time to have a fair result in matches played in India. Cricket is called a gentleman’s game and we all feel proud to play the game with high spirits. Winning and losing is a part and parcel of the game but we should maintain decorum in conducting the game in true spirits without any biased way of supporting the home side. Touring teams coming to India and represent their country as a true ambassador of that country and we should also respect their feelings also. But we make them suffer in playing on a tailor-made wickets and the capacity crowd support only one side and that is home side always and the umpire siding the home team during crucial moments to pave way for Indian victory.  Indian rope trick continues to haunt touring teams visiting the country.

England captain Eoin Morgan was pleading for justice from match referee Andy Pycroft having cleared the doubts about two bad decisions that ultimately put paid the hopes of the English side in the T-20 series. India’s captain Virat Kohli was given a reprieve when the opener was in a single digit and he was then allowed to continue from plumb LBW decision. Kohli added another 14 runs to his tally and Team England lost by 6 runs in the end.  The same benevolence was not given reprieve to Joe Root and that too when the ball brushed his bat and the height was questionable. Without DRS we enjoy over appealing and get some easy wickets and that too at crucial time. At a time when 8 runs were needed of the last over as the English star batsman was given out LBW (Trump card decision for Indian umpires) opened up the floodgates for an Indian victory. To err is human but erring always in just favouritism. Root should have rooted to the crease and objected the decision in the field to attract the attention of soft match referee.

The decision for Morgan’s genuine complaint ought to have been released before the third match or the result of the second match would have been withheld pending inquiry. When a player commits a serious mistake he is questioned at the end of the day’s play or after the conclusion of the match.  Whereas as the umpires commit blunders but are still officiate for the next match also. But ICC is also playing cool to please the richest cricket board in the World. The main problem with Indian umpires is that they are not fit enough and the eye-sight is questionable.  To add to that if a blunder is in public domain, we just try to hush up and instead hail our team for a questionable success.

In the end, the controversial umpire withdrew at the last moment and preferred to be the third umpire instead. The guilty mind pricked him and he do not want to become a pray for additional pressure. After all he is a human. It is time to have neutral umpires at all levels and ICC should think of an amicable solution to the pressing problem. LBW is considered as a weapon to keep the touring team in a fix and create a big break.  Is it cricket at its best?

Nickhil Mani

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

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