Rohit seeks room for on-field banter
Players are hoping umpires will allow them a little more leeway for on-field banter during the upcoming IPL season, if a unique interaction on Saturday is a sign to go by. The point is believed to have been made by Rohit Sharma, the Mumbai Indians captain, during an interaction with match officials on the first day of the two-day IPL officials' conclave.
It is understood that Rohit urged umpires to not intervene when players are involved in banter that stays within stipulated boundaries. Rohit was all for players behaving well, but urged that they be allowed to express themselves in the heat of the moment as long as they don't cross the limits.
One of the key reasons for the BCCI to invite a captain for the conclave was to make the officials understand players' perspectives. The BCCI officials also felt the need for such an initiative because of the increased involvement of Indian match officials. For the first time since the IPL's inception in 2008, Indian officials this season will considerably outnumber their overseas counterparts. Of the 26 match officials recruited for the IPL's 2015 season, 17 - 13 umpires and four match referees - are Indian.
The officials welcomed the initiative and were delighted to have heard the players' views in an informal situation. According to one of the officials in attendance, the initiative would "definitely be helpful for the umpires as well as players."
Besides Rohit's interaction, the first day of the workshop saw Simon Taufel, the ICC's umpire performance and training manager, brief officials about the dos and don'ts of umpiring in high-pressure situations.
Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo