While match referees, third umpires (in the matches televised live) and fourth umpires have been appointed for the Corporate Trophy, it is baffling that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has not deputed umpires' coaches for such a premier tournament, especially when it claims to be on a mission to improve umpiring standards.
Saturday's match between ONGC and Air India (Red) saw a shocking decision from Subrata Das, an elite umpire from Orissa, and it gave ONGC a reason to blame for their semifinal loss.
Das was perhaps the only one at the ground who didn't see the ball going to first slip off the back of Sushant Marathe's bat. The error casts doubts over the umpiring standards in the country.
The BCCI had no specific reason on why it didn't post umpires’ coaches for the tournament. “We have got good umpires officiating. The domestic season will begin now and we will have umpires’ coaches for all the matches,” said a Board official.
It is also planning to have umpires’ coaches for all junior matches from next season. Till last season, the Board had umpires’ coaches for junior games only from the knockout stage.
“What is the point in having umpires’ coaches for junior matches when you don't have them for this senior tournament? The leading umpires are posted to officiate in the Irani Cup and other important matches in domestic tournaments. They are obviously good, so why have umpires’ coaches for those matches,” said a retired umpire.
Though the presence of an umpires’ coach would not have necessarily made Das give the correct decision, the former umpire said: “The fact that an umpires’ coach will monitor him would make an on-field umpire perform better.”
For someone like Shavir Tarapore, who was recently promoted from TV umpire to an on-field umpire in the ICC's International Panel, having an umpires’ coach would have worked wonders to his confidence.
Involved in all the five matches in Bangalore, Tarapore is expected to officiate during the India-Australia ODI series in October-November.
Feedback would have helped him perform better and gradually climb the ladder as the search is on to have an Indian on the ICC Elite Panel.