Hyderabad: The umpires in the on-going IPL-13 in the UAE have been in the spotlight for wrong reasons. After the ICC Elite umpire Nitin Menon faced the flak for calling short run from square leg in King’s XI chase against Delhi Capitals on Sunday even though the television replays showed Chris Jordan had placed the bat inside the crease, yet another umpire C Shamsuddin invited wrath from the cricketing fraternity in the Rajasthan Royals’ match against Chennai Super Kings on Tuesday. This time the Hyderabad umpire was criticised for his poor decision of RR’s Tom Curran.
Shamsuddin, an international umpire, declared Curran caught behind in the 18th over even though the replays showed the ball hit the thigh pad of the batsman and went to Dhoni on the half-volley. On second thoughts, Shamsuddin took clarifications from square leg umpire Vineet Kulkarni and then called back Curran. CSK captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was least amused. Nevertheless, this decision raised a few eyebrows..
Cricket analyst Vedam Jaishankar feels that umpiring is atrocious. “Earlier their excuses included huge crowds, noise, distraction by crowd’s Mexican wave, etc. Now, in UAE, none of those excuses can be touted. It is pure and simple poor umpiring that is on offer.”
He added: “Maybe they are also short of practice owing to Covid. Thus my solution to salvage this year’s IPL from more umpiring goof-ups would be to allow teams 3 reviews apiece per innings.”
Former international umpire Ivaturi Shivram, who has been a strong advocate of Indian umpires, did agree that Shamsuddin was in a bit of a hurry in giving the on-field decision. But Shivram also said that the on-field umpire at any time, as per law, is eligible to revoke his decision on his own. “So after consultation he might have thought of revoking. Yes, he should have done two things before going to TV. One, revoke the signal of the previous decision or give soft signals of out to the TV.
“There is nothing much to crucify an umpire on this issue other than that there is just a procedural lapse,’’ said Shivram.
Shivram even appreciated the way Menon recovered from the first match. “He bounced back nicely in the third match. He was in right position and was spotless in his decisions in the RCB-Sunrisers Hyderabad match.’’
There are 12 Indians and three non-Indian umpires in Richard Illingworth (England), Paul Reiffel (Australia) and Christopher Gaffaney (New Zealand) in the panel this year. IPL is a wonderful window for the Indian umpires to showcase their talent. But unfortunately, two of the matches of four have been marred by umpiring controversies.
Shivram has said it is unfortunate that Indian umpires are being shown in poor light. “They are as good as other international umpires. They are criticised for one mistake even as a few good decisions go unnoticed,’’ he said.
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