Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, February 24, 2004
Who is Powerful: God or ICC Cricket Umpire?

Ibrahim Khan
We are living in a civilized world in the twenty first century. The human beings have reached at this stage of modern time-scale passing through thousands of year. In this time period, our society has all tools, components, and mechanism such as democracy, free media, justice, law and regulation, which ensure human beings can not do unfair, injustice and illogical act as like as medieval time period. If any component of our society does not function according to civilized way we have to modify it accordingly.

Some components of our society are still functioning like medieval period. One of them is the ICC?s cricket role. I?m not a great cricketer, but as a cricket lover occasionally I watch couple of games whenever I got time. Recently, I was watching Zimbabwe vs. Bangladesh first test match on 4th day (22-February-2004) and once again it was came to me attention that how much damage could be done in competitive by the umpire?s wrong decision. On the last hour of the day, Bangladesh team was just going to open their last innings after finishing a brilliant first innings and the 3rd day of bowling against Zimbabwe, then the umpire came like a devil and destroyed the charm of game in an unexpected way. We can look at the following comments from ?The Wisden Verdict? (Ward, 2004) about unpleasant act of umpire at that game.

????????TV replays showed that unfortunately the umpire Neil Mallender had got the final, very difficult, decision wrong ? the ball actually came off the top of Mushfiqur Rahman's pad and not his bat on its way through to the keeper????.?

????????.Shahriar Hossain's lbw decision from Dave Orchard was marginal for height, and Mushfiqur was certainly unlucky to complete Blignaut's hat-trick. In two hours the match had turned around dramatically, and if it is not quite a case of Nessun Dorma for Bangladesh, they will not sleep too easily tonight?????..?

Not only this, the same umpire did more damages again on the 5th day, which was against Tapsh, when Bangladesh had been coming back in a competitive position after the umpire made disaster of 4th day. What a shame, Dave Orchard was keeping doing it again and again!!!!!

In the above-mentioned game, among first five wickets, within 2 over and 2 runs, 3 of them were LBWs, where 2 of them were completely wrong. Without the umpire?s misdeed it would be fairly a competitive and enjoyable game for all. Umpire?s wrong decision (intentional or unintentional) has been going against the new and less powerful team frequently. We can still remember ICC umpire?s bad decision against Bangladesh team when they were playing against Pakistan in last year. I think any cricket lover does not want see such kind of devil power of umpires.

What is the solution of such kind of wrong decision again and again? ICC?s highly paid employees, but not highly creative, should think for the solutions regarding umpire?s wrong doing. There are so many simple solutions to avoid this problem again and again, even simply using a real-time computer software it can easily be detected and determined whether it was a real out (wicket fall) or not. There should be punishment/penalties for an umpire if he intentionally or unintentionally takes the wrong decision, which severely impacts a good game. The ICC can think about the alternative solutions to avoid human errors, who knows it?s not a biased decision as like as match fixing, in taking every LBW and other confusing decision through computer replay or other visual aids. There are also other solutions in this modern age to avoid those mistakes, if ICC?s guys think creatively and change the necessary laws for the sack of good game and fair play. By solving this problems only the umpire could be bring down just one step below the God position in term of power.

Reference: Ward, J. 2004. Blignaut's big finish. [Accessed: February 23, 2004]

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