Indian cricket May 6, 2008

BCCI reexamines its team of umpires

Cricinfo staff

The Indian board (BCCI) has decided to "infuse new, young blood" in its team of umpires to improve the standard of umpiring in the country - which has come under the scanner in the current IPL tournament - and has asked state associations to nominate four candidates each, including at least two former first class players, to appear for an examination that will be held in July.

"We have decided to revive the examination that, I believe, has not been held for a while. The idea is to infuse new, young blood and improve the standard of umpiring here," Niranjan Shah, BCCI, secretary, told Cricinfo.

"The umpires who have done poorly or have been found below average may not be posted in important matches," MP Pandove, the BCCI joint secretary, said in a press release. The decision to conduct the examination in Mumbai was among the few taken during a meeting of the BCCI's umpires committee on Monday.

S Venkataraghavan, the former India captain and BCCI's director of umpires, will redraw the list of 30 "best umpires" to be on the board's Elite panel, based on their performance last season that was assessed through video analysis during matches. The BCCI will also monitor the performance of its Elite panel over the next season to identity and promote potential candidates for the ICC's panel, Pandove said.

Apart from Venkatraghavan, Shah and Pandove, the BCCI's umpires committee comprises representatives of the five zones and Stanley Saldhana, the game development manager.

India have not been represented on the ICC's Elite panel of umpires since Venkatraghavan retired in 2004. The standard of Indian umpiring has been tested during the current season of the IPL, with the cricket of a much higher profile than in a regular domestic tournament. The shortcomings were shown up by the incident involving Sourav Ganguly and umpire G A Prathapkumar, in which the umpire referred a catch to the third umpire after Ganguly, given out, had complained.