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It’s a SIX!

An umpire has the authority to make decisions on the cricket field, according to the laws of cricket.
Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON SEP 22, 2011 11:37 AM IST

The lowdown
An umpire has the authority to make decisions on the cricket field, according to the laws of cricket. Besides making decisions about the legality of delivery, appeals for wickets and general conduct of the game, the umpire also keeps a record of the deliveries and announces the completion of an over.

During a game, it is the umpire at the bowler’s end who makes the decisions

With cricket getting highly professional at the junior and senior levels, opportunities are bright for future umpires
Rajiv Risodkar, cricket umpire

Clock Work
9am: Reach the stadium
10am: Discuss pitch and preparation with team officials
11am: Walk into the field (as and when the game begins) and make announcements of over completion, player
dismissals, sixers, boundaries, wide/no balls, etc
Players complain of poor light, hold discussions with the square leg umpire before resuming play
2pm: Half-an-hour break
2.30pm: Back on the field
6pm: End of match. Winner is announced

The payoff
In national matches, umpires get a fixed amount of around Rs10,000 per match while in local and corporate matches the money is relatively lower - about Rs800 a day

. You must know all the laws of cricket properly
. Incisive understanding of the game
. Ability to take spontaneous decisions
. Be a good manager
. Be extremely patient

Getting There
You have to qualify the theory and practical exams conducted from time to time by state sports bodies. You then become eligible for the exams conducted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) at two levels -one and two. After clearing the second level, you make it to the BCCI panel and can umpire at the highest level. After your case is endorsed by the BCCI for the International Cricket Council (ICC), you can join the race to be an international umpire.

But until you pass these exams, you must grab whatever opportunity comes your way to umpire - corporate match, domestic or club level

There is no institute that trains someone for umpiring. The BCCI conducts classes before the umpire’s exam. Once nominated by your state to the BCCI, you can attend these classes

Pros and cons
. The money is reasonably good
. You can make it to national or international levels
. Quite a respectable job. Even celebrity players address you as ‘sir’
. The profession can earn you name and fame
. Hi-tech umpiring with the use of electronic eye etc might replace human umpires
. At times, stress levels can get high if you declare a favourite player out and there are doubts over the decision
. The crowds or players can turn against you
. You have to stay calm throug the match to ensure the match gets over peacefully

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