High time umpires protect themselves by wearing helmets: Gautam Gambhir

  • Gautam Gambhir
  • Updated: Apr 28, 2015 14:13 IST

A lot is being said about the Nepal earthquake. I have been trying to read about this natural disaster as much as I can. I have been specifically looking up to see if we have any mechanism to avoid the disaster or even forecast it. I am afraid there is no encouraging answer to my quest, not at least on the internet.

I am not a science student and pardon my ignorance but I find it bizarre that so far we don't have anything that can help us forecast a quake. I understand we can only be reactive and not proactive to these natural disasters. The thought is extremely scary.

I am not drawing any comparison but in cricket too there could be a disaster waiting to happen which we can avoid. I am talking about the safety of the umpires here. I really think that it is about time that umpires wear a helmet or at least a facial grill while officiating at the bowler's end.

I mean if you look at the number of hard hits that go straight these days with those big booming bats you'd know what I mean. In fact, the risk is further considering that the umpire is looking at the bowler's foot for a no ball and then looking up to follow the ball. In the process he ends up picking the trajectory of the ball later than he should have which increases the risk of getting hit.

Umpires, who are generally on the other side of 40-45, the reflexes aren't as sharp. I remember during 2003 World Cup one straight hit by Sachin paaji almost cleaned up Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar. More than a decade later, with the advent of T20, batsmen are hitting the ball harder. I think given all of this it is almost imperative that an umpire gets protection just like they do in baseball with a face mask or a helmet.

Just like any other accident, it is better to be smarter before than after.

I shared this thought with my India teammate and he cheekily told me that he knows of at least two ICC umpires who claim that they stand wearing abdomen guards. Well done Sirs!

I was most disappointed that due to rain we had to split points with Rajasthan Royals. We were quietly confident about this game. I also felt bad for all those who had turned up at Eden. I know the hardships that fans in India have to undertake to watch a cricket match. From getting the tickets to commuting to the grounds and then to realise that rain took away the game can be extremely frustrating. In fact a part of me wanted to come out and do a thank you lap but then I thought it would be too dramatic.

We are in Chennai now, a place where we won our first IPL title in 2012. Trust me... none of the cities match the passion and the support that a home team gets in Kolkata. Chennai may have won the title twice but it still doesn't have the Kolkata buzz. We will miss that.

(The writer is Kolkata Knight Riders skipper)

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