The IPL organisers don't seem to have learnt any lesson, going by the appointment of Bruce Oxenford as an on-field umpire. The Australian umpire was in the eye of the storm as a third umpire during the recent CB series, where he committed blunders despite having all aids at his disposal. He once pressed the wrong button and had to retract it when he gave Michael Hussey out against India. He then failed to promptly notice and rectify a five-ball over when India were chasing against Sri Lanka at Adelaide. The match ended in a tie. The quality of umpiring has been pretty poor in the IPL this year. This was highlighted in the game between Mumbai Indians and Deccan Chargers in Visakhapatnam on Monday.
The Chargers skipper Kumar Sangakkara edged a Munaf Patel full toss onto the stumps, and the ball again hit the stumps off the wicketkeeper's pads.
But the square-leg umpire JD Cloete refused to go to the third umpire, prompting Munaf and Mumbai skipper Harbhajan Singh to protest angrily. Eventually the third umpire was asked to adjudicate but not before the situation turned a bit farcical. In the same match, a run out appeal against Rohit Sharma was turned down in the last over despite his bat not being grounded. Ultimately that changed the result as Rohit hit a six of the last ball to seal victory for the Mumbai Indians.
However, former international umpire Piloo Reporter played down the dip in the quality of officiating. "As long as the umpire does not err on the side of the law, it should be treated as human error. An umpire is bound to commit some errors and it's human. You can't punish him on the basis of a few decisions."
On the Sangakara dismissal row, he said, "it was just a case of the umpire being convinced he was right, one should not read too much into it." He also cited the example of Steve Bucknor, who initially was reluctant to go to the third umpire when the technology was introduced but changed once he got a few decisions wrong.
Reporter said the umpiring standards are very good. "People like Simon Taufel, Aleem Dar and Asad Rauf are extremely good umpires."