Updated March 14th, 2024 at 17:18 IST

After umpiring howler in CK Nayudu Trophy final, domestic umpiring standards come under scanner

Questions have been raised on the standards of umpiring in domestic matches after the dubious dismissal of Karnataka opener Prakhar Chaturvedi in the final.

Umpiring howler in CK Nayudu Trophy final | Image:BCCI
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Umpiring in domestic cricket has always come under the scanner but the recent Col. CK Nayudu Trophy U23 final between Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, it became a huge talking point. Even questions have been raised on the standards of umpiring in domestic matches after the dubious dismissal of Karnataka opener Prakhar Chaturvedi in the final.

During Karnataka's first innings, Chaturvedi played a pull against UP pacer Kunal Tyagi well away from his body, which went to the wicketkeeper after a big edge. Stumper Aaradhya Yadav who had to make a full-length dive to his left to make the collection. But the ball rolled out of Yadav’s gloves before he could complete the catch even as the wicketkeeper thudded on to the ground.

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However, the on-field umpire upheld the appeal for caught behind much to the dismay of batter Chaturvedi, who made 33 and 86 in Karnataka’s maiden victory in the tournament which came by virtue of their first innings lead at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

“Yes, it was a clear case of not out as I later saw the clippings. The ball came out of UP wicketkeeper’s hands before he completed the catch. The umpire should not have given it out,” a former First-Class umpire told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

“It is important to maintain top standards because these junior tournaments are stepping stones for several budding cricketers. Imagine how bad that boy (Chaturvedi) would have felt after spending close to an hour at the crease, only to get out like that.

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"Also, umpiring standards have a direct relation with the overall quality of a match,” he said.

So, how can one ensure consistency and high level of accuracy in domestic umpiring? “The BCCI has laid out some strict parameters in the umpires’ selection process and many state associations themselves have umpires associations working hard to ensure a good level of officiating.

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“But I feel former cricketers should be encouraged to take up umpiring as they know the game closer than anyone else. We have had S Venkataraghavan, Peter Willey, David Shepherd and Dickie Bird who were excellent umpires as they leaned on their experience from their playing days,” he added.

Recently, former India batter Manoj Tiwary had lashed out at poor standards of umpiring in domestic cricket.

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Another former First-Class batter said instances of umpires making childish mistakes were quite common in domestic circuit.

“It is quite common, especially in junior cricket. But in one Ranji (Trophy) match, I was hit on my hips and the umpire gave that out leg before. I was 48 then. I brushed it aside, thinking that mistakes can happen to anyone.

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“But in the next innings, when I was batting on 45, the same umpire gave me out caught behind off a left-arm spinner when my bat was tucked safely behind my pads while leaving the ball. Even the silly point fielder could not hide his surprise,” he noted.

There have been initiatives like the umpiring academy in Nagpur to better the standards but the lack of continuity has been the bane.

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“Those were good ideas but somehow did not take off as expected. There is an ICC online course too for the umpires.

“But beyond all these, the board should increase remuneration for umpires and should also ensure that First-Class umpires officiate at state level or even some local matches so that there is no gap between the assignments and they remain sharp,” the umpire detailed. 

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(with PTI inputs)

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Published March 14th, 2024 at 16:39 IST