‘It’s a difficult place to be’: Former umpire Ian Gould on India-Pakistan matches
A contest between the two nations bring out fans from all over the world, and the stadiums are always sold out. Amid such fanfare, it often gets hard for the umpires to be alert, especially with a jam-packed crowd making noises.Updated: Jun 01, 2020 13:49 IST
There are several popular sporting rivalries which increase the level of excitement and anticipation among the fans. In football, the contest between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo defines an entire era. In F1, the rivalry between Niki Lauda and James Hunt always caught the attention of fans in the 1970s. In tennis, a match between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer grabs front-page headlines. And in basketball, when Kevin Durant goes against LeBron James, the NBA fans come to a standstill to witness the spectacle.
Similarly in cricket there is, perhaps, no greater rivalry than India and Pakistan. A contest between the two nations bring out fans from all over the world, and the stadiums are always sold out. Amid such fanfare, it often gets hard for the umpires to be alert, especially with a jam-packed crowd making noises.
Speaking in an interview to ESPNCricinfo, former umpire Ian Gould talked about his experiences of umpiring in an India-Pakistan cricket match.
“Given the level of support they attract, were India the hardest team to officiate?,” Gould was asked in the interview. In response, he said: “It’s intimidating. Not the players. The players are outstanding people. I’ve done seven, eight India-Pakistan games and the guys are real good people. They get on with each other. If you allow a crowd to get to you, all that noise and Mexican waves, or whatever, can distract you,” he said.
“Then you start missing bits and pieces and it’s a difficult place to be. But, you know, a couple of lads, last year or two years ago, did Bangladesh-Sri Lanka and there wasn’t one seamer picked in both sides. That would have been pretty difficult,” he further added.