Back in February 2009, Sri Lankan umpire Gamini Silva adjudged Sachin Tendulkar leg before wicket to the home team's Dilhara Fernando in an ODI at Colombo. Television replays indicated that the ball would have missed leg-stump comfortably.
As Tendulkar walked back, scenes of disbelief in the Indian dressing room were shown on television.
In the previous ODI, Silva had adjudged Yuvraj leg before wicket despite there being a distinct inside-edge. Yuvraj did not hesitate in showing his displeasure. While as an umpire, wrong decisions can be made, life can get difficult if they arrive at tense moments.
Having undergone a curator course in England, Silva decided to take up the job of a curator in order to avoid such pressurising moments. “Oh, of course I remember umpiring against India. While I have to stay as focussed while I am a curator as I was an umpire, this is at least a more relaxed job,” he tells HT, before bursting out into nervous laughter.
Interestingly, it is not at home that the former first-class cricketer has decided to turn curator, but in Bangladesh. Not long after a spate of dubious decisions against India, Silva was appointed the curator at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium (December, 2009).
“I had travelled to Bangladesh as an umpire. Really loved the place. So, while looking for a curator job, I chose Bangladesh over Sri Lanka,” he reveals, staring at the sparkling bucket seats. “My contract ends in July but I hope to get it renewed as I want to settle down here.”
In fact the 53-year-old was also a former police superintendent. It is the qualities of a cop that Silva hopes to use as he prepares wickets in Bangladesh. “As a cop, you have to be very tough. I try to be like that as a curator and improve the standard of Bangladesh's wickets,” Silva, who is the head of curators in Bangladesh, says.