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Thread: Neutral umpires - are they working?

  1. #1
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    Neutral umpires - are they working?

    During the last Ashes series, many Aus supporters (led by myself) were heated in their criticism of the weight of "poor" umpiring decisions made against Aus.

    WI supporters should be similarly aggrieved at the amount of the "poor" decisions made against the touring team during the current series vs Aus.

    IMO, both sets of criticism are justified.

    Needless to say, the motivation behind this criticism lay in the fact that the "rub of the green" favoured the home team.

    Unfortunately, it has been the same umpires responsible for the "****-ups."

    Billy Bowden, Aleem Dar and Rudi are, at best, incredibly ordinary.

    They cannot be accused of bias as they are not favouring the home team nor are they favouring one team consistently.

    My question is whether the ICC should continue with the practice of appointing the best available neutral umpires or whether they should appoint the highest rated available umpires no matter what their country of origin.

  2. #2
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    The problem is that English umpires make mistakes in Tests involving England (David Constant made dozens) and they are considered honest mistakes. As soon as you get to India or Pakistan and one of their umpires make a mistake in their own countries favour they are instantly accused of cheating or being influenced by the crowd.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Lillian Thomson
    The problem is that English umpires make mistakes in Tests involving England (David Constant made dozens) and they are considered honest mistakes. As soon as you get to India or Pakistan and one of their umpires make a mistake in their own countries favour they are instantly accused of cheating or being influenced by the crowd.
    It would be nice if you didn't go out of your way to score points against England each time you post whilst not saying anything of relevance to the thread.

    The reality is the standard of umpiring in the Ashes series was, if you look at the bigger picture overall, quite good. The trouble is the scale of judging umpires seems to be something like this:

    Worst ever, utterly useless, awful, terrible, incompetent, bleh

    If an umpire is called incompetent or doesn't get much of a mention they're pretty much at the top of their trade.
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    Cricket Web Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    The key point for me is that with neutral umpires, "home bias" is removed as something for the losing tourists to whinge about.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scaly piscine
    It would be nice if you didn't go out of your way to score points against England each time you post whilst not saying anything of relevance to the thread.
    It would have been even nicer if you had engaged your brain before posting that.
    I'm English and very proud of the fact. But there is no disputing the fact that there is a certain amount of snobbery regarding the quality of our umpires over other countries. No one would accuse Dickie Bird of cheating no matter how many mistakes he made, yet there were instant calls of cheating when Shakeel Khan and Shakoor Rana made mistakes on the Gatting tour and the same happened the following Pakistani season when Australia were there. It was this that hastened the advent of neutral umpires.
    Perfectly relevent to the thread, unlike the reply that followed mine.

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    International Coach archie mac's Avatar
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    I don't know if there are less mistakes being made, but I do think the heat has been taken out of the game.Re-umpiring biased.

    I also think the team winning creates a lot more chances (more often than not) and there fore claims a higher percentage of the tight calls.
    You know it makes sense.

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    Global Moderator vic_orthdox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Pickup
    The key point for me is that with neutral umpires, "home bias" is removed as something for the losing tourists to whinge about.
    And just "bad umpiring" replaces it?

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    I don't think the umpires are any worse than they ever have been. They're just afforded greater scrutiny upon their decisions and we see how many mistakes umpires have always made, not a bunch of new ones. I have a crusty old video at home of the Australia vs India Test series of 1991/2 and on that video they do a whole segment about the umpiring just in the Adelaide Test and whether Australia gets the home advantage, etc..

    Either way this;

    Billy Bowden, Aleem Dar and Rudi are, at best, incredibly ordinary.
    is rubbish. Yes they've made mistakes in this series, no doubt. But I've also seen all three have to cope with some unbelievebly close calls and they've made the right decisions. Of course, those ones are never the ones highlighted are they?

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    Whatever little I hv seen of Dar, have to say I have been impressed with it. Best thing abt Dar is that he doesnt get bogged down or intimidated by the players. Bowden has been a mixed bag. Rudi has been an absolute disaster whenever I have seen him. Hair and Harper are just abt OK although Hair made a ridiculous decision by referring Inzy's run-out to the 3rd umpire, and what the 3rd umpire did was even worse! Taufel is by far the best umpire in the world today.

    So all in all, I dont think we have a great bunch of umpires at the moment but its still better then having home umpires. Atleast this way, no allegations of cheating can be levied on them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat
    Either way this is rubbish. Yes they've made mistakes in this series, no doubt. But I've also seen all three have to cope with some unbelievebly close calls and they've made the right decisions. Of course, those ones are never the ones highlighted are they?
    I agree that people do have a tendency only to remember the poor decisions and never truly give glory for the exceptional ones. For example, that Aleem Dar 'not out' decision against Brian Lara in the first innings proved to be 100% correct, but he could so easily have given it the other way, especially with the heated desire of all the Australians for the wicket.

    It still cannot be overlooked when umpires make blunders though. People may dwell on the Lara oopses, or the Sarwan blunders of yesterday, or maybe even the Dwayne Smith error, but IMO the worst of the decisions was that against Denesh Ramdin. For some reason, though, it has gotten zero press. Even watching that now, I can't see how it can be given out.

    A lot of umpires seem to have forgotten the simple concept of 'benefit of the doubt favouring the batsman'. Whilst some may say that the batsmen have too much in their favour these days, it's generally the fairer way to go. Beyond that, it's the law.
    Sreesanth said, "Next ball he was beaten and I said, 'is this the King Charles Lara? Who is this impostor, moving around nervously? I should have kept my mouth shut for the next ball - mind you, it was a length ball - Lara just pulled it over the church beyond the boundary! He is a true legend."

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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Lillian Thomson
    It would have been even nicer if you had engaged your brain before posting that.
    I'm English and very proud of the fact. But there is no disputing the fact that there is a certain amount of snobbery regarding the quality of our umpires over other countries. No one would accuse Dickie Bird of cheating no matter how many mistakes he made, yet there were instant calls of cheating when Shakeel Khan and Shakoor Rana made mistakes on the Gatting tour and the same happened the following Pakistani season when Australia were there. It was this that hastened the advent of neutral umpires.
    Perfectly relevent to the thread, unlike the reply that followed mine.
    Being English doesn't alter the fact that a lot of your posts have been merely point scoring exercises against England. It's no good now trying to find some convoluted series of connections as to how what you were saying was relevant to the thread because it wasn't.

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Mr Mxyzptlk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scaly piscine
    Being English doesn't alter the fact that a lot of your posts have been merely point scoring exercises against England. It's no good now trying to find some convoluted series of connections as to how what you were saying was relevant to the thread because it wasn't.
    I see no problem with his post. It's the truth and it's not biased toward or against anybody. In fact, it takes an fairminded Brit to see a point such as that. Add that to the fact that it was very relevant to the thread in that at least two other people have suggested a similar point since.

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Top_Cat's Avatar
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    It still cannot be overlooked when umpires make blunders though. People may dwell on the Lara oopses, or the Sarwan blunders of yesterday, or maybe even the Dwayne Smith error, but IMO the worst of the decisions was that against Denesh Ramdin. For some reason, though, it has gotten zero press. Even watching that now, I can't see how it can be given out.

    A lot of umpires seem to have forgotten the simple concept of 'benefit of the doubt favouring the batsman'. Whilst some may say that the batsmen have too much in their favour these days, it's generally the fairer way to go. Beyond that, it's the law.
    My point wasn't that these decisions are being ignored but they've always been there and even without technology, the umpiring was of a similar standard years ago. Very little has changed in umpiring. What HAS changed is the technology used in analyses of mistakes so rather than highlighting a new problem, it's spotlighting an issue which has always been there.

    My suggestion is that if we all want completely accurate decisions then bugger the traditionalists and make everything automatic that can be and finance it accordingly. Give the umpires a break and make no-ball calls automatic (like the one used in tennis) for a start. Put money into making Hawkeye and Snicko as accurate as they can be (I still have reservations, personally, but I reckon they still get it right 9/10) and then use the damn things because this debate about umpiring competance casts, in my opinion, unfair aspersions about the umpires themselves when, in reality, they're making no more mistakes than umpires have in the past. In fact, I'm old enough to remember when umpires made many more mistakes than they do now. The mistakes weren't highlighted because people a few years ago didn't have the benefit of a cool blue line showing where the ball was going or a wavelength map showing that the batsman DID get a slight touch to the ball.

    Geez, I've been hearing this debate for all of the time I've followed cricket and nothing, aside from the 3rd umpire, has changed. That was a much-needed change but other than that, the way umpires officiate LBW's, catches and no-balls (which are all responsible for a vastly greater proportion of wickets than run-outs are) hasn't changed a jot. That said, the fact that the ICC trialed Hawkeye's use in the Super Test is a harbinger; technology will be more extensively used soon.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Mxyzptlk
    I see no problem with his post. It's the truth and it's not biased toward or against anybody. In fact, it takes an fairminded Brit to see a point such as that. Add that to the fact that it was very relevant to the thread in that at least two other people have suggested a similar point since.
    'The problem' that English umpires supposedly not being accused of bias when they umpire at home (which is just tosh anyway, certain Pakistan fans and media has a habit of whenever they're shown to cheat outrageously they come up with some limp counter-claim to suggest that England or whoever are somehow worse) has absolutely NOTHING to do with whether Neutral umpires are working or not.

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Mr Mxyzptlk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat
    My point wasn't that these decisions are being ignored but they've always been there and even without technology, the umpiring was of a similar standard years ago. Very little has changed in umpiring. What HAS changed is the technology used in analyses of mistakes so rather than highlighting a new problem, it's spotlighting an issue which has always been there.
    Granted, there have been a fair few "that's so blatantly not out in real time" poor decisions of late. I still agree entirely with this point.
    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat
    Give the umpires a break and make no-ball calls automatic (like the one used in tennis) for a start.
    How capable are they of doing this accurately though? Consider that there's also a batsman backing up.
    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat
    Put money into making Hawkeye and Snicko as accurate as they can be (I still have reservations, personally, but I reckon they still get it right 9/10)
    The point is really that the same standards be upheld for everyone. So whether the system is 100% accurate or not, each person is subject to it all the same, so in that sense, it is fair enough.
    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat
    and then use the damn things because this debate about umpiring competance casts, in my opinion, unfair aspersions about the umpires themselves when, in reality, they're making no more mistakes than umpires have in the past. In fact, I'm old enough to remember when umpires made many more mistakes than they do now. The mistakes weren't highlighted because people a few years ago didn't have the benefit of a cool blue line showing where the ball was going or a wavelength map showing that the batsman DID get a slight touch to the ball.
    True, but that shouldn't excuse incompetent umpiring simply because we see it more often these days (EDIT: by "see", I mean we highlight it with technology). No, it should just tell us that historically umpiring has been substandard and we should somehow try to improve it. Simon Taufel has proven that quality umpires do exist, even today.

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