ICL: Indian Cricket League

Poor umpiring standards witnessed in Twenty20 Cup

Written by Kashif Aziz on March 8th, 2006   (424 views)

Umpiring standards have raised questions during the recent ABN AMRO Twenty20 Cup. The News has a report about umpiring conflicts in a match between Karachi Dolphins and Lahore Lions.

The Karachi Dolphins team that lost in the semifinals of the Twenty20 Cup tournament are still waiting for a response to their complaint that an umpire gave a seven balls over in their crucial tie against Lahore Lions, which led to costing them the game.

In just one example of the many umpiring blunders witnessed in the tournament and seen by thousands on television, in the Karachi Dolphins and Lahore Lions opener veteran umpire Z I Pasha committed the ultimate blunder.

With Lahore requiring 33 runs to win in the final two overs with nine wickets down, Pasha allowed seven balls to be bowled in the penultimate over and as luck would have it on the final ball of the over, the Lahore batsman hit a big six. If the extra ball had not been given Lahore would have been left requiring 21 runs to win in the final over.

Surprisingly, while the Karachi team management pointed out the blunder in their umpires report, no action so far has been taken by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) umpires manager Khizer Hayat or the domestic cricket cell.

Unfortunately, such are the governing playing conditions that neither the official scorer nor the match referee even if they know an extra ball is being allowed by the umpire, can intervene to put the record straight.

Still the one good aspect of the Twenty20 Cup matches being televised live was that the entire country and many abroad were given a wonderful exhibition of the poor standard of umpiring in the country.

Viewers and spectators are not likely to forget the comic sight of umpire Akbar Khan signalling the last ball of an over in the game between Karachi and Islamabad for a wide and then calling an end to the over. It was only after the players protested that he realised his mistake and then allowed the ball to be bowled.

Similarly in another incident, television umpire Saleem Badar ruling on a close decision first pressed the green signal to give the batsman not out and then a few seconds later changed the decision to a red light much to the surprise of the teams.

The umpires also didn’t appear to have any inkling of the lower full toss rule, which says any full toss which is above the waist of the batsman, is a no-ball. In one match an umpire ruled a no ball after a lower full toss had struck the batsman straight in the box.

There were numerous other blunders witnessed like one umpire calling a no ball when replays showed the bowler’s heel had landed behind the line once he completed his follow-through. The umpire in his enthusiasm called a no-ball, while the bowler’s heel was in the air and he had not completed his follow-through.

Clearly there is need to have a fresh review of the umpiring standards in the country and the output of the board’s umpiring division because the blunders one saw on television didn’t reflect very well on Pakistan cricket’s image.

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Technorati Tags: Twenty20, Karachi, Lahore, cricket

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