Hyderabad: One of the black spots of otherwise successful completion of the 12th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) was umpiring that invited criticism from all quarters. There were some decisions that raised a few eyebrows. It put the umpires in poor light.
However, Chettithody Shamshuddin and A Nanda Kishore, the two umpires from Hyderabad, came out with flying colours. They were in `top form’. They hardly put their foot wrong whether as an on-field umpire or as third umpire. Shamsuddin is a veteran of 75 IPL matches, officiating as on-field umpire since 2012 after being as fourth umpire for two years (2008 to 2010) while Nanda Kishore has umpired in 49 matches so far from 2016. He graduated to on-field and third umpire in 2016 after doing the stint as fourth umpire from 2013 to 2015.
The 49-year-old Shamsuddin said umpiring in IPL is always challenging. “It is the biggest T20 cricket tournament of the world. There are high stakes and therefore controversies will always be part of the IPL. The issue now is how to come out of the controversies. We have to accept the challenge and move forward,’’ he said.
Shamsuddin, who did eight on-field and six third umpire duties this year, pointed out the introduction of Decision Review System (DRS) in IPL has increased the role of the third umpire. ”As an on-field umpire, it is a different challenge. But DRS has given the third umpire an important role. It is all about holding your nerves and focusing on the decision. We have to look to all angles before arriving to a decision and that too in a matter of a few minutes. It is challenging. But then we do have these workshops before the start of the season to train ourselves for the hectic season ahead.’’
The pressure is always there on the umpires, according to Shamsuddin. “It is about how you handle the pressure. It is tough but you have to enjoy the challenge. You can’t relax for a single ball as every delivery is important,’’ said Shamsuddin.
Nanda Kishore added that there are butterflies in the stomach before the start of any match. “But once the match starts, we get into the match zone. IPL is all about big crowd, big players, big teams and close matches. There is excitement all over the stadium and spotlight is always on the umpires. To err is human but if the umpires do make a bungle, there could be lot of noise. It is not the case if they come out with good decisions. We basically stick to the basics. Of course, the role of third umpire has changed ever since the DRS came into IPL. We should be spot on with our decisions and there are no margin for errors,’’ said Nanda Kishore, who was recently promoted as Senior Manager of Andhra Bank.
The 47-year-old Nanda Kishore, who was former Hyderabad Ranji captain, said it is all about hard work. “I firmly believe we should do a lot of homework before the start of a season and before the start of a match. These were few things which I learnt from Shivram sir. He is my critic, philosopher and guide.’’