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Wrong calls mar contest

Ajinkya Rahane’s leg before decision on the first day of the Ranji final off RP Singh put umpire Shahvir Tarapore under the scanner, reports G Krishnan.

cricket Updated: Jan 12, 2009 23:29 IST
G Krishnan

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has long voiced its desire to improve the umpiring standards in the country. But the bloopers committed by the men in white in the Ranji knockout stage this season put a question mark on the Board’s long-professed plan.

Ajinkya Rahane’s leg before decision on the first day of the Ranji final off RP Singh put umpire Shahvir Tarapore under the scanner on Monday. Tarapore, India’s representative in the ICC’s International Panel, gave Rahane LBW to a delivery that pitched outside the leg stump from a left-armer bowling over the wicket.

The Mumbai-Saurashtra semi-final, too, was marred by a couple of such erroneous decisions on the fourth day.

Ahmedabad’s Amish Saheba, who just returned from New Zealand after his Test debut in a two-match Test series between the Kiwis and West Indies, had ruled Saurashtra’s Rakesh Dhruv leg before when Ramesh Powar’s fuller length delivery hit the batsman on his pads outside the leg stump. A little later, the same umpire had given Balakrishna Jadeja caught behind when there was no contact between the bat and the ball.

It is learnt that the BCCI has been informed about the wrong perception of certain umpires.

“Some top umpires are taking it for granted that they will remain there,” an umpire’s coach said on condition of anonymity. “Some are even overconfident,” he added.

The umpiring errors this season saw seven-ball overs and even three fielders behind the popping crease on the on side when only two are allowed.

“The umpires are keen on bossing over players and harping on the Code of Conduct,” said a state coach.

Finally, it is upon an individual umpire to make the most of the coaching system as it is useless cribbing that Indian umpires are not given international exposure when the standard is suffering at the domestic level.