The umpire strikes back May 6, 2006

'ICC's lbw move will reduce umpires to dummies' - Venkat



Venkat: 'I am not able to accept the fact that the leg-before decision will also be referred to the third umpire' © Getty Images

The International Cricket Council's proposal to have lbw decisions referred to third umpires by batsmen has evoked a strong reaction from S Venkatraghavan, the former Indian offspinner and umpire, who says such a move would reduce on-field umpires to mere dummies.

Venkatraghavan, who officiated in 73 Tests and 52 one-dayers, said instead of resorting to the television umpire for every decision, the ICC should put in place quality umpires to minimise chances of a wrong decision. He also said ICC must not hesitate to pull up umpires if they make too many mistakes.

"I am a traditionalist and in my opinion, the ICC should put in place the best umpires instead of coming up with such proposals," he told Press Trust of India. "A player has to accept the decisions given by the on-field umpire. After all there are certain rules wherein the on-field umpires can seek the assistance of the third umpire before declaring a player dismissed for stumping, run-outs and even for catches taken on the boundary line.

"These are perfectly alright but I am not able to accept the fact that the leg-before decision will also be referred to the third umpire. Such a rule will reduce the on field umpires to dummies. If this rule change is accepted that would mean that every jurisdiction is given to the third umpire. It amounts to having the game held without on-field umpires, who could eventually be termed as dummies and robots. That will take the charm out of the game. I think I have officiated during the best of times when the game was played as per the laws of the game."