facebook Twitter RSS Feed YouTube StumbleUpon

Home | Forum | Chat | Tours | Articles | Pictures | News | Tools | History | Tourism | Search


Go Back   BanglaCricket Forum > Cricket > Cricket

Cricket Join fellow Tigers fans to discuss all things Cricket

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old March 22, 2010, 08:43 PM
unda_bhai unda_bhai is offline
Join Date: March 3, 2010
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 141

Originally Posted by ahms

Umpires for the Empire?

Shahed Sadullah
For any Bangladeshi supporter, watching the current Bangladesh-England Test series must be a frustrating experience. The Bangladeshis have played well better than most would have expected but the umpiring has gone so heavily against them that a contest in which one side was already struggling to acquire a semblance of balance has become completely lopsided. That they have competed in spite of the poor umpiring is a great credit to the home side.
Bangladesh actually should have won the second ODI had the umpiring been better. Mahmudullah was given out when he was not and Owen Morgan was given not out when he should have been given out and he went on to win the game. They then went to the first Test where also they got the wrong end of the umpiring stick with Aftab Ahmed in the first innings and Shakib Al Hasan in the second both being given out when they were not; England got one bad decision when Trott was given caught behind off his helmet but Alistair Cook was also given not out leg before when he should have been. It may be argued that these decisions alone did not account for the 181 runs which ultimately separated the two teams but that is no excuse for bad umpiring. But in the Dhaka Test the umpires really surpassed themselves. Tamim Iqbal, Bangladesh's most prolific batsman was adjudged out when the ball apparently went from his forearm when he was within sight of becoming only the fifth man in Test history to get a hundred in the first session of a Test match; Kevin Pietersen, England's top batsman was given not out when the ball would have hit top of middle and leg. Umpire Hill then repeated the dose with Matt Prior the next morning who should have been given out when he was 9 but went on to make 62. Then Tucker got into the act by denying a bat and pad catch of the Bangladesh captain and Hill once again denied an lbw appeal against Bresnan that would have hit leg stump flush on. In between Hill gave Collingwood leg before when both Pietersen and Prior were much more palpably leg before than Collingwood making one wonder just on what basis decisions were being made.
Given the state of the wicket which makes it difficult for an average Bangladeshi attack to get 20 wickets, such errors have made it almost impossible for the home team to compete on equal terms. Generally, apologists for umpires which all TV commentators have to be as a job requirement, lament being as far as they are allowed to go say that such errors break even for both sides but that has not happened in this series. They also say that the umpire has a difficult job to do but then so does the prime minister although that does not preclude all and sundry from cricticising any holder of that position. It is the screwed up values of a bygone age that demand that the umpire must not be criticized which is why someone like Darrell Hair got the opportunity to cause one of the biggest crises in the cricketing world.
Cricket is the most race riven sport in the world. Go to any press box in any cricketing venue in England and the atmosphere is so thick with racial feeling you could cut it with a knife. Cricket was the sport which was supposed to teach the values of empire and the first of these was that the umpire's decision, as his motives, were unquestionable. If 300,000 people were to successfully govern 300 million, that sort of value system was very important to inculcate. Cricket's governing body was known as the Imperial Cricket Conference and although its name has changed, its attitudes have not. Thus we have a situation in which a Test match in Bangladesh has to be umpired by a person from New Zealand and a person from Australia whereas there are three Test playing countries next door to Bangladesh India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka from where it would have been cheaper and quicker to get the umpires for this series. I am not trying even vaguely to suggest that racial bias has been behind the very uneven umpiring decisions in this series but the indisputable fact is that both umpires are culturally, ethnically and linguistically much closer to the England side, clearly the stronger of the two contesting sides, in whose favour the overwhelming majority of the decisions have gone. If you happen to be a Bangladeshi and there are some 150 million who may be so described that does not sound too good and it is not difficult to see why people may come to a conclusion that may not be right. That cannot do cricket any favours.
In appointing these umpires, who have had a very poor series, the ICC was clearly oblivious of the racial tensions that so heavily permeate this sport. If they were aware of it they would have realized that justice on the field of play should not only be done but should also be seen to be done. When umpiring decisions go so heavily in favour of one team and the stronger one at that and the similarities behind the umpires and the heavily favoured team are so obvious, most people with latch on to that as the reason for the imbalance although that may not be the case.
Of course it would have been diplomatically and political more astute if the ICC had appointed at least one umpire from one of the south Asian Test countries. But diplomatic and political savvy has never been one of the ICC's strong points; it has not woken up to the heavy racial undertones that underline the sport even after the Darrell Hair affair, which means that it will probably never wake up to it. The make-up of the elite panel of umpires, ICC's so called list of the world's best umpires from which appointments are made for all international matches, shows how strongly the ICC believes that westerners are born with the attributes that somehow automatically make them better umpires compared to South Asians. The latter account for four of the nine Test playing nations and over 90 per cent of the cricket following population of the world. Yet, out of eleven members of the current elite panel of umpires, only three are south Asians, the rest, including one West Indian, all belonging to the western world. India, the number one Test nation in the world does not have a single representative on the panel. How it is that India has produced some of the finest batsmen the world has seen and today has, by some distance, the best batting side in the world but cannot come up with an umpire worthy of being in the panel is a question that defies a cricketing explanation. Not that India is unduly bothered about that. They know that as the financial superpowers of the cricketing world they can bring their financial muscle to bear upon any umpire who has the audacity to give wrong decisions against them and Steve Bucknor, once regarded as the best umpire in the world, will vouch to that. The Indians turfed him out after he gave a series of wrong decisions against India in a Test in Sydney in 2007-08, Bucknor having to leave half way through the series. But everybody does not have India's financial muscle and Bangladesh certainly does not.
In a busy cricketing season the ICC appoints umpires from its international panel to help umpires from the elite panel. Every Test playing nation and Zimbabwe has two umpires on the international panel and Tucker is from the international panel. If therefore it was necessary to resort to the international panel, any of the umpires from Pakistan or Sri Lanka (presuming that the Indians are busy with the IPL) on the panel could have been called on to have at least one South Asian umpire in a Test being played in the region. This again, is not to suggest that any of either Hill or Tucker's many mistakes in the series have been racially motivated; it is only to say that the ICC should be aware of the racial context in which many umpiring decisions are seen and should as such be trying, as far as possible, to counter such feelings and presumptions. They owe that to the image of the game, which they are guardians of.
Of course, the best way of ensuring fairness is the referral system and it is not known why the current Bangladesh-England series has been excluded from its ambit. But whatever the reason, the exclusion has only been possible because the ICC allows it. To make this optional is nonsensical and there is absolutely no reason why it should be so. Television companies which do not have the software for hawkeye, hotspot and the snickometer should be asked to develop these and told that if they do not do so, they need not bother bidding for a contract in the future. They make enough money from the game and if they are asked to put a little bit back into it, it would not be entirely amiss. In any case, I can hardly think of any Test series these days which does not have hawkeye and even if the other facilities are not available, there is no reason why the facilities that are should not be used. And when using them, the prime consideration should be to get the right decision, not to uphold the umpire's honour and authority. When I go to watch a cricket match, I go to see the players in action, not the umpire's authority being upheld, irrespective of whether the umpire is right or wrong. This all consuming concern for the umpire's authority can only be explained in terms of cricket's status as a vehicle for the values of empire for in no sport is an assault on the umpire less likely. The current rules that guide referrals are ridiculous because the aim is not to come to the right decision but to uphold the authority of the umpire which is nonsense. Thus even if Jahurul Islam's lbw decision was only marginal, it would have stood a referral while if Pietersen was given not out on exactly the same ball, (as is very likely) the not out decision would have stood. That is rubbish.
After the Pietersen and Prior decisions, if I was a Bangladeshi player on the field, I would have felt that the only way I could get a wicket was clean bowled or caught beyond even a blind man's doubt and Pietersen was ultimately dismissed by the latter method, while Prior was dismissed by the former. For the umpires to be allowed put that amount of pressure on one side is certainly no way to be conducting an international sporting contest.
Reply With Quote

Old March 22, 2010, 09:15 PM
kalpurush's Avatar
kalpurush kalpurush is offline
Join Date: June 7, 2005
Location: Victoria: Heaven's Earth!
Posts: 19,181

Originally Posted by NitaiPal
Horrible article, IMHO. You prove one thing and then conclude another. There was basically no point in writing/reading this article.
Did you read it? If you did, then you are a xxx...!? If not, then you shpuldn't comment!!
> Start slow. Build a base. Then explode.
> I needed to perform so that I could give my countrymen an occasion to cherish and be proud of - Ice Man
> My photographs @ flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/obayedh/
Reply With Quote
Old March 23, 2010, 01:04 AM
godzilla's Avatar
godzilla godzilla is offline
Cricket Legend
Join Date: March 4, 2009
Posts: 4,475

Originally Posted by NitaiPal
Horrible article, IMHO. You prove one thing and then conclude another. There was basically no point in writing/reading this article.
It was a good article (maybe not the best but still give credit where it is due). He proved 2-3 things in his article not just one ... you sure you read the article and not just the 1st line and the last line? -_-'
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:47 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

About Us | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Partner Sites | Useful Links | Banners |

© BanglaCricket