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View Poll Results: Why Umpires are making terrible mistakes these days?

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Thread: Unaccountable umpires?

  1. #1
    Cricket Spectator dotcompals's Avatar
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    Icon13 Unaccountable umpires?

    Dear friends, below given is an article appeared in a cricket website, plz.give your sincere opinon on the subject matter:
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    Unaccountable umpires, and falling short of change
    Amit Varma

    A number of people have written in, responding to my earlier posts on why we need to use technology to help umpires ("Why umpires should welcome technology", "More Luddites answered, but no early adopters" and "Falling short of change"), pointing out how the awful umpiring mistakes in the first Test between India and Australia should not have taken place, and could have been avoided with technology.

    Australia played better cricket and would probably have won the Test anyway, but India would have had a far greater chance of a fightback if their openers weren't both victims of umpiring mistakes in the second innings. Billy Bowden, who gave Virender Sehwag lbw after a massive inside-edge, had also wrongly given Irfan Pathan out in India's first innings, ending a 60-run rearguard partnership. Sehwag was astonished at the decision, like everybody else who saw it, and expressed his view to Bowden on his way back to the pavilion. He ended up getting fined 65% of his match fee for dissent.

    One of the commentators on television suggested that it all evens out, and that Pathan being dropped at an irrelevant juncture in the second innings was an example of that. That is nonsense. Even if the number of batsmen wrongly given out is equal to the number of batsmen wrongly reprieved, the decisions would only even out in a statistical sense, and not in terms of their consequences. A batsman's career can be affected by a wrong decision, and the result of a Test match influenced by two or three. At the level of individuals, and of teams, it does not even out.

    Even if it did, two wrongs would hardly make a right. That is a ludicrous argument call it Luddite objection No. 16.

    There is another big issue here, beyond that of using technology: are umpires accountable? When players make mistakes consistently, they get dropped. But when umpires make repeated errors, as opposed to the occasional understandable mistake, they get away with it. The ICC supposedly has a mechanism of review to deal with this, but it is not working.

    Steve Bucknor might have been a good umpire at his peak, but as I have argued earlier ("On age and technology"), he is past his sell-by date. That is not merely my conclusion the Indian team, in their official review of the umpires to the ICC, slammed him repeatedly through India's last tour of Australia, and the VB Series that followed. Nevertheless, Bucknor officiated during the India-Pakistan series, messing up again. And despite this repeated history of errors, despite the feedback process that the Indian side has constantly availed of, Bucknor is still officiating at this level, and still goofing up. His officious and arrogant attitude towards players has also, remarkably, gone unpunished. (As Harsha Bhogle says in an excellent piece in The Indian Express, "A judge cannot have the demeanour of a lawyer.")

    The ICC is erring, in two ways. One, it is not making umpires accountable enough; and two, it is defining dissent too harshly. Whether Sehwag went over the line or not depends on what he said, which is not yet known, but too often batsmen have been reprimanded for just shaking their heads at a wrong decision, or looking at their bat to indicate that there was an edge, while umpires get away with mistake after mistake, which naturally encourages them to become, as Bhogle described Bucknor, "intrusive and bossy".

    Of course, both issues will become irrelevant if the ICC uses technology, and eliminates these mistakes forever. How much longer must we wait till that happens?
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    dotcompals
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  2. #2
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    I perhaps am an outspoken supporter of Bucknor (and I've only been posting on these boards for a couple of days :P ) and hes done nothing in this test to warrant me changing that opinion. Far too many people are jumping on the umpiring bandwagon, though I am hardly surprised that cricinfo being as dominated by Sub-continent writers as it is, is pushing this line. I think its regretable that many Indians seem to be focusing their discontent towards the umpires as if it is their fault that India lost. Sure there were several dubious decisions and two shockers (Pathan's first innings dismissal and Sewag's second) but India was far and away second best throughout the match.

  3. #3
    Banned ReallyCrazy's Avatar
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    Its not because of the wrong decisions that Bucknor gives that drives me mad. Umpires are human and it happens. As for now, we've got to understand it.

    But AFAIC, Bucknor should have been let go when he mocked Dravid. That was just pathetic.

  4. #4
    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    I also think the article by Harsha Bhogle which was linked to made some good points about Bucknor, and umpiring in general.
    "I am very happy and it will allow me to have lot more rice."

    Eoin Morgan on being given a rice cooker for being Man of the Match in a Dhaka Premier Division game.


  5. #5
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    Billy Bowden's performance in this game was clearly a slap to his own face after his comments against use of technology to aid umpires a few weeks ago.

    If umpires had been allowed to use technology in this match, Bowden would have been saved the embarrassment of Pathan and Sehwag dismissals. I agree with most opponents of technology that it's not perfect yet but it would definitely save the umpires from embarrassing moments like Bowden went through in this game. It would serve him well to support use of technology in the future.

    On another note, India were the inferior team in this match.

  6. #6
    State Vice-Captain viktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hala
    I perhaps am an outspoken supporter of Bucknor (and I've only been posting on these boards for a couple of days :P ) and hes done nothing in this test to warrant me changing that opinion. Far too many people are jumping on the umpiring bandwagon, though I am hardly surprised that cricinfo being as dominated by Sub-continent writers as it is, is pushing this line. I think its regretable that many Indians seem to be focusing their discontent towards the umpires as if it is their fault that India lost. Sure there were several dubious decisions and two shockers (Pathan's first innings dismissal and Sewag's second) but India was far and away second best throughout the match.
    You are missing the point. Most Indians do not blame the umpires for the defeat. The Aussies definitely outplayed us in this Test.
    The problem with Bucknor is that he seems to go out of his way to annoy the Indians and that is what is p#$$ing people off. Some examples are his ticking off Patel in a test in australia (i think, Brisbane), mimicking Dravid and then apparently in this test, his handling of Zaheer when Zaheer ran onto the pitch while bowling. Now I didn't watch this match so I cannot comment on the latest one but the other two were in pretty poor taste.
    Also, I wouldn't be so quick to write off some one of the stature of Harsha Bhogle. He is at most times very fair in his writing.
    Member of the AAAS

  7. #7
    School Boy/Girl Captain thirdumpire's Avatar
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    No body should give much weightage to the conspiracy theories that float around on the internet. I remember reading one such theory about umpires that was quite a chiller. Though I cant seem to find that particular link now, the conspiracy theory ran something like this.

    When Sri Lanka showed great promise - they advised Darrell Hair to do the needful.
    When India started to get their act together - they advised Steve Bucknor to do the 'job'
    With Pakistan, David Shepard has the 'job'.

    The article went on to give the line of the 8-man panel of umpires and their nationalities, allowing us to draw our own conclusions on the sub-continent representation:

    Brent Bowden (New Zealand)
    Steve Bucknor (West Indies)
    Aleem Dar (Pakistan)
    Darrell Hair (Australia)
    Daryl Harper (Australia)
    Rudi Koertzen (South Africa)
    David Shepherd (England)
    Simon Taufel (Zimbabwe)

    Further, Ashok Dsilva was sacked, Venkat resigned - and the vacancy went to Dar. So it seems like the sub-continent representation will be only one spot in the panel always, Meanwhile the progress of the sub-continent teams are kept in check .

    Remember guys , before you start the bashing, - I do not support this theory at all .

  8. #8
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    I don't know enough about how good ( or otherwise ) the 'next level' of umpires are anywhere in the world, but I wouldn't like the elite umpiring panel to be apointed by any form of 'quota'. If that leads to an inbalance in the nationalities represented on the panel, so be it. ( there is an obvious limitation in needing enough umpires to provide options for all series..4 australians and 4 indians on the panel would leave the current series without any 'neutral' umps ).

    I do know that in Australia over the past few years, there have been fairly major efforts to recruit/encourage/develop umpires. I think it is reasonable to assume that if this effort bears fruit, then more Australian umpires would be pressing for selection at all levels, particularly if other nations don't leaving a better than 'average' representation.

    Perhaps all nations could submit 2 umpires to a '2nd tier' umpiring panel...these woudl be available for ODIs and a system could be developed whereby they get to umpire domestic cricket in other countries in their own off season. ( so a pakistani umpire might officiate a first class match in Australia ). Umpires for the elite panel would be selected from these ( hopefully without regard to their nation of origin ).

    BTW..thirdumpire.
    Simon Taufel is Australian.

  9. #9
    Cricketer Of The Year JASON's Avatar
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    I agree with the third Ump. There is no conspiracy. But Just why the blooming ICC can't get into their damn heads that some Umps and some Teams don't go well together, for the life of me I cannot understand. This IIRC is the umpteenth time that Buchnor has been noted for making decisions that tend to favour the opposition over India. Now, it doesn't require a genius then to say there are seven other Umps in the panel, lets have a rotational policy here and use all the umps on a rotational basis and keep out those that have had bad reports from the skippers or teams in the past.

    On another point IMO, Bucknor and Shep are two of the old timers who unfortunately are way past it, and should retire from the panel voluntarily without facing the humiliation of being withdrawn due to complaints from Teams.

    They have had a long go on this ICC Elite panel umpiring gravey train, and their age has caught up with them and performances are not keeping up to the standards required, IMO.
    Last edited by JASON; 11-10-2004 at 12:24 AM.

  10. #10
    State Vice-Captain viktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by telsor
    I don't know enough about how good ( or otherwise ) the 'next level' of umpires are anywhere in the world, but I wouldn't like the elite umpiring panel to be apointed by any form of 'quota'. If that leads to an inbalance in the nationalities represented on the panel, so be it. ( there is an obvious limitation in needing enough umpires to provide options for all series..4 australians and 4 indians on the panel would leave the current series without any 'neutral' umps ).

    I do know that in Australia over the past few years, there have been fairly major efforts to recruit/encourage/develop umpires. I think it is reasonable to assume that if this effort bears fruit, then more Australian umpires would be pressing for selection at all levels, particularly if other nations don't leaving a better than 'average' representation.

    Perhaps all nations could submit 2 umpires to a '2nd tier' umpiring panel...these woudl be available for ODIs and a system could be developed whereby they get to umpire domestic cricket in other countries in their own off season. ( so a pakistani umpire might officiate a first class match in Australia ). Umpires for the elite panel would be selected from these ( hopefully without regard to their nation of origin ).

    BTW..thirdumpire.
    Simon Taufel is Australian.
    interesting idea. my question though is who decides which amongst the 2nd tier would get selected to elite panel.
    it would however give the umps a feel for the other countries and that can only be good

  11. #11
    U19 12th Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by viktor
    interesting idea. my question though is who decides which amongst the 2nd tier would get selected to elite panel.
    it would however give the umps a feel for the other countries and that can only be good
    My thought exactly.

    As for who selects them..presumably the same bunch who selects them now? ( I have no idea who this is ).

  12. #12
    International Vice-Captain Dasa's Avatar
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    Perhaps umpires who are umpiring at first-class level should go on tours to other countries to experience the conditions first hand?

  13. #13
    Eyes not spreadsheets marc71178's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by viktor
    Some examples are his ticking off Patel in a test in australia (i think, Brisbane)
    And of course Patel in that case was completely innocent
    marc71178 - President and founding member of AAAS - we don't only appreciate when he does well, but also when he's not quite so good!

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  14. #14
    International Regular shaka's Avatar
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    Billy Bowden has responded, the article can be found at:
    http://aus.cricinfo.com/link_to_data...11OCT2004.html

  15. #15
    Cricketer Of The Year JASON's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaka
    Billy Bowden has responded, the article can be found at:
    http://aus.cricinfo.com/link_to_data...11OCT2004.html
    Good on Billy. He's such a decent guy and humble enough to be the first to acknowledge his mistake. IMO, he makes very few and he gets it right most of the time and he is trying to do his best . I applaud him for his sincerity.

    Good on Ganguly too, for not geting too bogged down on the umpiring.

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