2001 July 2, 2011

BC Cooray's nightmare

In early 2001 an umpire united both sides as well as spectators in agreement that his officiating was atrocious
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While the increasing use of technology has reduced some of the uncertainty about umpiring decisions in high-level matches, there are still occasional moans and groans. But in early 2001, BC Cooray, an experienced Sri Lankan umpire, managed something rare in the game. He united both sides in the series between Sri Lanka and England, and also the spectators, who all agreed his umpiring was atrocious.

The 59-year-old Cooray was widely regarded as being a competent umpire - he had stood in 20 Tests going into the 2000-01 series in Sri Lanka - and while nobody had any real concerns when he was appointed for the second Test, he was not popular. "He always looks down on the players and is very bossy, always telling us how to play the game," one England player said before the series. Another privately added: "He is too stubborn. Everyone makes mistakes, but BC Cooray never admitted to making them."

Sri Lanka thrashed England by an innings in the opening Test, in Galle. The scale of the defeat meant England were in no position to moan about the officiating. Journalists from both sides agreed both umpires - Kandy-born Peter Manuel and Arani Jayaprakash from India - had dreadful games, but rightly, coverage centred on Sri Lanka's victory.

At least seven of the dismissals were dubious or downright poor, although that was balanced by two shockers that should have been given out. By the time a thick edge from Craig White was caught at silly point, as England stared down the barrel, there was no way the batsman was going to walk, and so he stayed. Jayaprakash corrected that mistake within the over, when he gave White leg-before to a full-toss that struck him well outside the line of off stump. A vociferous crowd, aided by the endless replays they were able to see, as there were televisions in the stands, jeered.

For the second Test, in Kandy, Cooray and South Africa's Rudi Koertzen were the chosen officials, and it was Koertzen who made the first howler, giving Kumar Sangakkara out caught in the gully when the ball clearly came off his forearm.

When England batted, it was Cooray who took centre stage. Early on, he reprieved Mike Atherton when he appeared to be trapped plumb leg-before, and crucially turned down three confident appeals against Nasser Hussain, who went on to make a match-winning hundred ("four cast-iron outs according to England dressing room", wrote Alec Stewart).

By the time Cooray refused what seemed to be an obvious return catch to Muttiah Muralitharan by Graeme Hick, it appeared his confidence was shot, although he later denied this. Hick, meanwhile, triggered in the first Test, was in no mood to help out; he stood his ground and survived.

"In any Test match there is pressure, especially for the home umpire," Cooray said. "Even when the crowd started to protest, the pressure did not affect me. Over the years I have grilled my mind and learnt how to shut out the exterior influences and focus solely on the ball."

Most observers disagreed. "He looks shot to pieces, battered down by the relentless pressure placed on him by the players of both sides and the cruel dissection and exposure that comes from television analysis," the Sun noted. "By even a reasonable count, the incorrect decisions in this match have gone eight to one in favour of England, all but the first by Cooray."

Such was the level of mistrust in the decision-making among both sets of players, neither was prepared to offer any help to the umpires. At one stage a catch was taken at silly point and the appeal was turned down. At the end of the over, a fielder asked the batsman if he had hit it. "Yes, of course I did," he replied. "Never mind. Better luck next time." A local newspaper led with the headline: "Cooray bats for England".

With the crowd on his back - banners appeared on the third day, lampooning him as "Bad Call" Cooray - and the local media demanding his head, it was perhaps unsurprising that things only got worse.

With Sri Lanka 90 runs behind on the first innings, much depended on Sanath Jayasuriya; more so after Marvan Atapattu's dismissal in the first over.

Jayasuriya pushed at the first ball he faced, a wide, low full-toss from Andy Caddick, and got a thick edge into the ground. The ball ballooned into the air and Graham Thorpe took a diving catch at slip. The England players started celebrating as a genuinely bemused Jayasuriya stood his ground. Cooray then walked over to Koertzen and, after a brief chat, raised his finger. "Even we were a little bit embarrassed about that one," admitted Stewart.

An incredulous Jayasuriya approached Koertzen at square leg to try to get the decision overturned, before eventually trudging off, his mood hardly helped by jeering from the large contingent of England supporters. As he reached the edge of the pitch he hurled his helmet across the boundary. TV viewers, meanwhile, were treated to replays showing the ball had bounced a good foot after hitting the bat.

Cooray characteristically later denied the blame. "I had my doubts about the catch, but Koertzen had no doubts and I therefore had no other option but to give Sanath out." He also claimed he had asked the ICC to allow replays to help with bump balls but that his request had been denied. In fact, had he and Koertzen been unsure, the regulations did allow a third-umpire referral.

The unsavoury nature of the day continued as Atherton and Sangakkara engaged in a heated finger-wagging face-off after Atherton claimed Sangakkara called the England team cheats.

At the close, Cooray and Koertzen had to be given an escort from the field. England went on to win a tight match by three wickets after being set a target of 161, but Cooray still had one last trick up his sleeve, when he gave Alec Stewart lbw to a ball pitching outside leg stump.

"I had many sleepless nights after that Test," Cooray said. "It was terrible, so unfortunate, easily the worst game that I have ever had in my 23-year career. No umpire goes into a match prepared to make mistakes, but a lot of them happened. It just happens, like it did to Peter Manuel in the first Test."

At the post-match presentations, supporters of both sides yelled for him to be named Man of the Match, and shortly afterwards he needed protection as he left the ground. By that time news had been leaked that he had been dropped for the final Test, and his retirement was confirmed soon after. "His final vestiges of dignity were stripped away by leaks from the Sri Lankan umpires committee, placing the blame at his door," the Sunday Herald said.

Cooray, wrote the Guardian, "looked a forlorn figure as he sat hunched in the umpires' room after England's victory… [but] the question lingered why Rudi Koertzen's errors were replayed by Sky TV once or twice whereas Cooray's were barely off the screen".

"Some of the lads reckoned the umpires had made at least 15 major errors in that match," Stewart said. "Even though the majority favoured us, it was a little disturbing."

Atherton, writing soon after in Wisden Cricket Monthly, pulled no punches. "It's really ridiculous that a game which brings in millions of pounds accepts amateurish standards from the officials who run the game. Both teams felt a little hollow at the end."

As the dust settled, attention turned from the umpiring to the conduct of the players, which had, egged on by a complete lack of trust in the officials, turned into something close to cricketing anarchy.

Almost nobody came out of the series well. Players from both sides were fined and warned, the credibility of officials was shredded, and the ICC, not for the first or last time, was accused of failing to act. It was roundly slammed for its immediate reaction, which was simply to consider a ban of televisions inside grounds.

The only good thing to emerge was the speeding up of the move towards the full implementation of independent ICC umpires to all Tests, and also increased calls to use technology more to help them.

What happened next?

  • England won the third Test by four wickets to take the series 2-1
  • The ICC introduced its Elite panel of umpires in 2002, with two independent umpires for Tests and one independent and one home one for ODIs

Is there an incident from the past you would like to know more about? Email us with your comments and suggestions.

Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on July 5, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    It is unacceptable..Martin, you are entitled to remind cricket lovers about a good piece of cricket happened in yester-years.. mocking someone who is 70 years now for a few days of lapses he had in 2001 is unacceptable...he might have had a medical condition unknown to you, to the world or to himself...

  • SRT_GENIUS on July 3, 2011, 22:11 GMT

    @Isaac_7: Do you see contradictions in your own comment ?

  • demon_bowler on July 3, 2011, 21:15 GMT

    If memory serves, BC Cooray served as the third umpire in the final test in Colombo -- and managed to get wrong the only important decision he had to make in that match too. However, he wasn't the only one -- the umpiring was atrocious in all three tests (e.g. Nasser being given out at Galle off a ball he middled to the boundary). The officials at Galle were appalling, and S.A. umpire David Orchard made some wrong calls in the final test too. I think general umpiring standards have improved out of all recognition since those days, and the DRS puts right the real shockers. A big thing was made about Cooray's howlers because they tended to favour England, whereas the other officials' blunders favoured Sri Lanka. Accusations of bias were unseemly -- Cooray was just incompetent.

  • Andre2 on July 3, 2011, 20:08 GMT

    India have won the WC and are leading the rankings for Test cricket ! But it is very strange that there is NO indian UMPIRE in the elite panel ! Why ? Are Indian umpires so unfit that none can sustain the rigours of International Test matches ? Or may be they do not like to travel ! There is a single Indian match referee (J Srinath).

  • PANS on July 3, 2011, 19:40 GMT

    There was this Sri Lankan Umpire Dooland Buultjens along with B C Cooray, whose bad decisions in Sharjah odi series made India stay away from Sharjah for few years. Although, India suspected much more than mere bad umpiring. Among, the Sri Lankan umpires officiated Tests and ODIs since 1982 to 1995 K T Francis was the reasonable one. All others were below par. Oh there was this TM Samarasinghe who always plays safe - you wouldn't get a LBW decision from him.

  • on July 3, 2011, 17:52 GMT

    So there actually was someone who was worse than the great Asoka De Silva...

  • shishirji on July 3, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    Sri lankan umpires has a history of dishing out the most "SHOCKING" decisons .

  • vijaywins85 on July 3, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    The Best of B.C. Cooray's celebrated umpiring incidents. http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/current/match/65191.html

    1996 World Cup Semifinal - West Indies is chasing down Australia's modest total of 207 under the leadership of the fierce Richie Richardson (in possibly his last match) whilst facing off stiff resistance from Shane Warne. Richie Richardson slog sweeps Warne towards the boundary with such force that it looked to be a certain boundary. But, the ball never reaches the fence. TV Replays later reveal that the ball managed to find a certain B C Cooray on the way. And, it hit him right on his face! THUD! What's even more startling is that B C Cooray never seemed to duck or attempt to block his face like the other umpires do. He never even sensed a ball coming towards him. And, he didn't know what hit him till it hit him. The play stopped for a moment to allow Cooray to get some first aid. And, WI lost by just 5 runs.

  • johnathonjosephs on July 3, 2011, 6:40 GMT

    @Aus Sore Losers Can tell you're an Indian still sore about the Bell decision where the 2.5 meter law was enforced in the tied WC game, because Billy Bowden is one of the great umpires out there and is very genuine in his umpiring. If he is not sure, he always refers it to the third umpire... gotta love them new zealanders... great people

  • johnathonjosephs on July 3, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    @Arun Venkataraghavan? Hmmm.... why doesn't that name remotely connect with anything I can think of (and trust me, if i even saw a player with this long name, it would stick)? Maybe cause he wasn't that great of an umpire. I've watched a lot of cricket in the 90s and I do not even recall an umpire like this.

  • on July 5, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    It is unacceptable..Martin, you are entitled to remind cricket lovers about a good piece of cricket happened in yester-years.. mocking someone who is 70 years now for a few days of lapses he had in 2001 is unacceptable...he might have had a medical condition unknown to you, to the world or to himself...

  • SRT_GENIUS on July 3, 2011, 22:11 GMT

    @Isaac_7: Do you see contradictions in your own comment ?

  • demon_bowler on July 3, 2011, 21:15 GMT

    If memory serves, BC Cooray served as the third umpire in the final test in Colombo -- and managed to get wrong the only important decision he had to make in that match too. However, he wasn't the only one -- the umpiring was atrocious in all three tests (e.g. Nasser being given out at Galle off a ball he middled to the boundary). The officials at Galle were appalling, and S.A. umpire David Orchard made some wrong calls in the final test too. I think general umpiring standards have improved out of all recognition since those days, and the DRS puts right the real shockers. A big thing was made about Cooray's howlers because they tended to favour England, whereas the other officials' blunders favoured Sri Lanka. Accusations of bias were unseemly -- Cooray was just incompetent.

  • Andre2 on July 3, 2011, 20:08 GMT

    India have won the WC and are leading the rankings for Test cricket ! But it is very strange that there is NO indian UMPIRE in the elite panel ! Why ? Are Indian umpires so unfit that none can sustain the rigours of International Test matches ? Or may be they do not like to travel ! There is a single Indian match referee (J Srinath).

  • PANS on July 3, 2011, 19:40 GMT

    There was this Sri Lankan Umpire Dooland Buultjens along with B C Cooray, whose bad decisions in Sharjah odi series made India stay away from Sharjah for few years. Although, India suspected much more than mere bad umpiring. Among, the Sri Lankan umpires officiated Tests and ODIs since 1982 to 1995 K T Francis was the reasonable one. All others were below par. Oh there was this TM Samarasinghe who always plays safe - you wouldn't get a LBW decision from him.

  • on July 3, 2011, 17:52 GMT

    So there actually was someone who was worse than the great Asoka De Silva...

  • shishirji on July 3, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    Sri lankan umpires has a history of dishing out the most "SHOCKING" decisons .

  • vijaywins85 on July 3, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    The Best of B.C. Cooray's celebrated umpiring incidents. http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/current/match/65191.html

    1996 World Cup Semifinal - West Indies is chasing down Australia's modest total of 207 under the leadership of the fierce Richie Richardson (in possibly his last match) whilst facing off stiff resistance from Shane Warne. Richie Richardson slog sweeps Warne towards the boundary with such force that it looked to be a certain boundary. But, the ball never reaches the fence. TV Replays later reveal that the ball managed to find a certain B C Cooray on the way. And, it hit him right on his face! THUD! What's even more startling is that B C Cooray never seemed to duck or attempt to block his face like the other umpires do. He never even sensed a ball coming towards him. And, he didn't know what hit him till it hit him. The play stopped for a moment to allow Cooray to get some first aid. And, WI lost by just 5 runs.

  • johnathonjosephs on July 3, 2011, 6:40 GMT

    @Aus Sore Losers Can tell you're an Indian still sore about the Bell decision where the 2.5 meter law was enforced in the tied WC game, because Billy Bowden is one of the great umpires out there and is very genuine in his umpiring. If he is not sure, he always refers it to the third umpire... gotta love them new zealanders... great people

  • johnathonjosephs on July 3, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    @Arun Venkataraghavan? Hmmm.... why doesn't that name remotely connect with anything I can think of (and trust me, if i even saw a player with this long name, it would stick)? Maybe cause he wasn't that great of an umpire. I've watched a lot of cricket in the 90s and I do not even recall an umpire like this.

  • B.C.G on July 3, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    Indians grumble about how often bad decisions affected them.What they forget is that they themselves have benefitted from howlers?Many decisions on Aus 2000-01 tour of India went againt the tourists(notable Laxman's close calls during his 281),Sl last tour of India,S.Africa's last tour of India,etc.

  • Isaac_7 on July 3, 2011, 0:21 GMT

    Similar story to the 2nd test between the Windies, soo many umpiring decisions that were quetionable. The worst, I mean absolute howler was the lbw against Shiv. Raina also undone, as well as Dhoni, but that was the IT guys fault. Young Bravo in the 1st innings and Fidel in the 2nd, both catches 2 the keeper, not ata all very good umpiring. If u got the technology, use. No need 2 tell a drowning man use the lifejacket if he has it, so y not use the tech.

  • on July 2, 2011, 22:53 GMT

    before umps were independent India had a few good ones in reporter and swarup kishen and ofcourse in recent past venkat....

  • KiwiPom on July 2, 2011, 21:18 GMT

    I note that "Such was the level of mistrust in the decision-making among both sets of players, neither was prepared to offer any help to the umpires." Think how much better the situation might have been had they realised the best course of action was precisely the opposite. The umpires clearly weren't cheating - they just had bad days, which will statistically happen from time to time. For me the players come out of this in an even worse light than the umpires.

  • vajira12 on July 2, 2011, 19:35 GMT

    Rudi Koertzen has been as bad an umpire as BC Cooray. He most famously gave sangakkara out to a ball that came off his helmet in Australia when Sanaga was 5 short of double hundred.

  • on July 2, 2011, 19:29 GMT

    @slmnyusuf.. Probably ur weak in history.. India has produced the best umpire hope u remember his name Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan.!! ICC elite panel of umpires was formed in 2002 but this guy was doing since way long from 1993.. Hope u dig out info first and then post comments

  • B.randy on July 2, 2011, 18:53 GMT

    If Indians fell smug about this article, it's time someone refreshed their memories of the time Kapil Dev was approaching his record number of test wickets. I'm sure they will appreciate Marvan's donation of his wicket a few times, courtesy Indian umpires, who were desperate to see Dev reach his milestone. Marvan's 4 ducks, I think in his first five innings included a few such horrible decisions by Indian umpires.

  • aus_sore_losers on July 2, 2011, 18:16 GMT

    excuse me, but many people here are suggesting that dharmasena will set the record good for SL umpires... he is no better, if not worse... only average umpire, sadly getting into elite panel because of paucity of quality umpires all over the world.. the better among the current lot are moises erasmus and aleem dar...

  • Sulaimaan91 on July 2, 2011, 17:38 GMT

    all the indians are getting excited here.Tell me of at least one Indian umpire who has been in the elite panel, they arent even fit for any international match.Last time SL toured India a delivery from Sanath during the 1st T20 which hit the batsmen and went to square leg was called wide,that was just one and if we want to write about the umpiring howlers of the Indians, we'll need an article 10times this one.

  • stormy16 on July 2, 2011, 16:14 GMT

    With technology isnt it possible to "score" the umpires in each game? Just like the players everyone should be aware of the umpires performances and if they fair poorly they should be dropped - just like a player. Surely SL holds the dubious record of the worst umpires in modern times. The articel names a few and then there is shocker Ashoker who has been recently thrown out. Dharmasena I must looks the part and on track to set the record straight.

  • on July 2, 2011, 15:30 GMT

    I don't know what is the idea of writing an article by Mr Martin Williamson to show umpiring errors on a single umpire. Since there are arguments about the DRS and umpiring decisions in the present context, he would have write an article on general, umpiring errors. So stop wounding a person who is already wounded. Be smart when writing articles.

  • on July 2, 2011, 15:19 GMT

    Nice article, I like how you guys take the time and effort to dredge through and give us these informative insights. Keep it up. BTW Cooray was an awful umpire , he of course cant hold a candle to the men in white DownUnder in that era.

  • 9ST9 on July 2, 2011, 14:50 GMT

    I remember this game for the gutsy 95, Sangakkara (a rookie at that time) before getting stumped. The last two tests were really exciting, however the series was a very fractious one full of incidents. Sadly the next to Eng tours to SL in 2003-4 and 2007-8 were rather drab one-sided affairs. I think the SL tour to england mentioned above was in 2002 and not in 2003 because in 2003 it was England who toured SL.

    P.S- The funniest umpiring incident occurred when SL were playing India in late 1997 - there ws an umpire whose name i forget who lifted his finger as if to give the batsman out and then scratched his head. Does anyone remember who it was?

  • Kavum on July 2, 2011, 13:51 GMT

    @Lord.emsworth, as Santayana said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". Heaven forbid that we should see BC's like again. Unfortunately, only the worst umpiring stays in the collective mind. Surprised that no one remembers S. Ponnadurai and his contribution to SL's first "victory" against India in the second home test of 1985. Also Koertzen's decision to give Sanga out for 192 in Australia. By the way, say hi to the Empress for me...

  • on July 2, 2011, 12:58 GMT

    To me the most embarrassing umpiring decision would be by R.C Sharma who gave Jadeja out and then started scratching his head when Jadeja stood his ground..

  • on July 2, 2011, 12:46 GMT

    This test was a black mark in test cricket umpiring, thanks to cooray.

  • on July 2, 2011, 12:31 GMT

    I think we should talk about the Aussie umpires, especially in the 80s, 90s (i.e before the neutral umpires came along). Every visiting team has suffered at their hands, repeatedly. Their attitude would make the likes of BC Cooray look like angels. Another idiot was Bucknor. I clearly remember seeing him on TV, mocking and making faces at Dravid.

  • KingOwl on July 2, 2011, 12:31 GMT

    So, this counts as an away series win for England, ha?

  • aus_sore_losers on July 2, 2011, 11:50 GMT

    daryl harper, billy bowden and steve bucknor are more disgraceful umpires... no. of mtches these 3 spoiled with their dubios umpiring is lot more than Cooray's... had they too removed when they had started making howlers, India would have won the series in oz in 2003-04 and in 2007-08... bucknor is especially the one responsible for insult to the beautiful game of cricket... ICC is so useless, it persisted with him for 2 decades and gave him free platform to change the fate of matches so regularly in favour of oz and against india, especially THE GOD!!!i remember i almost broke our TV in disgust while wtchin that SIDNEY test 2007....

  • Lord.emsworth on July 2, 2011, 11:33 GMT

    Cooray has suffered enough after that series. For God sake leave the man alone. As the article suggests he was a respected umpire before doing 20 tests without much blemish. Its sickening to see the author of this article & some others kicking an old man who is already down.

  • dsig3 on July 2, 2011, 10:59 GMT

    Sri Lanka do not have a good track record with umpires. Hopefully Dharmasena will break the mould.

  • mogan707 on July 2, 2011, 9:59 GMT

    This article comes at a time just after the reactions of MS Dhoni and Daryl harper about the quality of umpiring and in the backdrop of modifiedl DRS.It is shocking to hear that when a player acknowledges he is out after the decision to the opposing player and asks to try the next time, then how the player demand gentleman-ship from the opposite team.Cricket has lost its gentleness.the incident in srilanka looks more of a sydneygate.This article may also rage a debate on umpiring based on the country the umpire belongs and previously read comments is an indication of that. Humbling a person is good but this article raises the to be forgotten incident and hugely embarassing experience for the umpire.

  • on July 2, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    The other worst umpiring I witnessed was Pakistan against Sri Lanka in Singapore Cup Final. Pakistan only made 170, I think and in response, Jay Suriya started in his style, SL lost 1st wicket at 66, when Kalu got out for a duck (its azaming, isn't it???), after Jay Suriya dismissal, I think umpires got extremely sympathetic to Pakistani team (the way Jay Suriya was hitting boundries, anyone would feel sorry for poor Pakistani bowlers), but due to bad umpiring, Sri Lanka lost the final. Jay Suriya's innings is still in my mind.. Thanks Sanath for all that lovely innings you played.. For cricket fans, it is a source for happiness for rest of their lives.. "A thing of beauty is joy forever"

  • mirchy on July 2, 2011, 9:41 GMT

    The ICC has never publicly explained how it arrives at the 94% allegedly correct decisions. What is the criteria used for the calculation? Almost every match I've watched in the recent past is full of umpire blunders. Maybe the ICC factors in every under-the-breath peep appeal players sometimes squeek out on the spur of the moment. Have appeals been factored in without the credibility of the appeals or the authenticity of the decisions being verified or is every "How" a valid appeal? And above all, were the BC Cooray and Harper bloopers (just to name two) a part of the 94% survey? LOL. Was the UDRS (now being introduced) due to or in spite of these umpire bloopers?

  • tearawayquick on July 2, 2011, 9:01 GMT

    Subcontinent

    Gold - BC Cooray, Javed Akthar (Pak) (SA vs ENG Test match) Silver - Asoka DeSilva Bronze - KT Francis

    AUS-NZ Gold - Steve Dunne Silver - Darryl Harper

    and of course Steve Bucknor an undispitued Global winner in many ways.. always favored the Aussies!

    Both Venkat and Rudi have had some shocking games but always excaped media glare and were over rated

    By and far the best umpires have been from England...They have produced some outstanding upires the likes of Sheperd, Peter Wiley, NigelLong etc...

  • Ozcricketwriter on July 2, 2011, 8:27 GMT

    I note that that was Cooray's last test as an umpire, but he still umpired a couple more ODIs! Incredible!

  • ARJa on July 2, 2011, 7:42 GMT

    BC Cooray was pathetic just like D.N. Pathirana as 3rd umpire who gave Adam Gilchrist runout when the Kaluwitharan dropped the ball and batsman made ground in 1999 ODI. This article he is been blamed for the Alec Stewart dismissal. That was in the first test at Galle by Peter Manuel who himself wasn't that great. Cooray's poor umpiring actually started way before. In the final of the 1997 quadrangular tournament called Independence Trophy held in Sri Lanka he gave the most pathetic decision ever. He gave Robin Singh run out. Of course he did miss few things. First of all Robin Singh was well pass the crease. Secondly and quite disgracefully, Sanath Jayasuriya the bowler dropped the throw and broke the stumps with his own hands yet had the nerve to appeal. Then the biggest joke was Cooray who was running for cover amidst all this gave the decision as 'out' without even referring to the third umpire and having his back to the situation. He actually didn't see anything that happened.

  • Dilmah82 on July 2, 2011, 7:24 GMT

    BC Cooray & even KT Francis had big egos. When they were told they wouldn't be officiating the number of home international games in SL that they wanted this is how they retaliated. It was a deliberate ploy to punish the home side!

  • Charindra on July 2, 2011, 7:23 GMT

    OH YES! I remember this. The headline in the daily news screamed "Cooray bats for England" and they were right. It really looked like he was looking for British citizenship at times. @pradeep_dealwis - That's right. Both 2001 and 2003 went England's way because of the decisions of the umpires. I remember in 2003 Trescothick was given not out when he was plumb LBW to Murali and he made a big century and SL lost. Same thing happened in the 2nd test with another Eng batsman.

  • Rahul_Paharia on July 2, 2011, 7:00 GMT

    I remember a ODI between India and SL in which BC was umpiring. He gave Robin Singh run out when he was clearly in, without referring to the third umpire. The worst thing was, the replays showed that he was getting out of the way of the throw and not even looking at the batsman when the ball hit the stumps. Bad umpires do not have one bad match. It is just that they get caught out in a match due to repeated howlers.

  • murthydn16 on July 2, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    BC Cooray, KT Fracnis and Ashoka Desilva are the most blunderous umpires along with some aussie umpires like darry harper and ofcourse Bucknor. Once Cooray gave Robin Singh run out when Jayasuriya had no ball in his hand and distrubed the stumps.

  • Sailav on July 2, 2011, 6:31 GMT

    Javed Akhter of Pakistan was another umpire, who alway gave shocking and dubious decisions........Javed Akhter of Pakistan was another umpire, who alway gave shocking and dubious decisions........

  • on July 2, 2011, 6:28 GMT

    I remember that Alec Stewart LBW. Jayasuriya was bowling over the wicket and the ball pitched at least a foot outside Leg Stump - and this was visible in real time - before Stewart kicked it away. Jayasuriya's appeal was, if anything, mocking the umpire. When Cooray responded positively even Jayasruiya looked confused.

  • donda on July 2, 2011, 6:18 GMT

    My only answer to this article is that era was Cronje, Azhruddin, Salim Malik, Wasim Akram etc era. Cricinfo. i am not using any wrong words here . OK. Don't stop it.

    So when those players were making fool out of whole cricket world why would umpires be left behind. I am confident that in that era , umpires were not in good hands too and umpires played some ungraceful man of the match innings.

    I am happy that ICC is now using neutral umpires and they have elite panel for test matches.

  • Vkarthik on July 2, 2011, 4:53 GMT

    BC Cooray was the same guy three leg before decisions in a row at Sharjah. Two of them were clearly not out.

  • pradeep_dealwis on July 2, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    SL went to tour Eng in 2003 and the bad umpiring against SL continued, and Eng won 2-0. I remember Hussein later saying the umpiring favored Eng in 2003 the same way it favored SL in 2001. A big joke that was..! Umpiring favored Eng both in 2001 and 2003! And the reason why they won both the series!

  • addiemanav on July 2, 2011, 4:20 GMT

    i do know that umpiring is a very difficult task and more stressful than the players but sometimes umps shud also be accoutable!!they cant be stubborn abt it,and admit if they hav made mistakes..thats why i like taufel coz he is always ready to accept that he had a below average game(a rarity)!!i remember this game,wasnt broadcasted live in ind,but saw the highlights and was shocked at the kind of decisions were made!!steve dunne was another ump who wud make mistakes and not agree!!arvinda de silva once smashed a ball almost to the keeper only for dunne to turn the indian appeal down!!and in chennai test in vs pak,ind wer chasing 270,and were 80-4 when ganguly drove a ball,the ball touched the ground then the silly point and lobbed in the air and moin khan dived in front and took a bump ball catch..it was difficult for anyone to take a decision without any replays,even pak players werent sure,but steve dunne and another ind ump consulted and gave ganguly out!!

  • wambling_future on July 2, 2011, 3:35 GMT

    Along with BC Cooray there was one more upmire... I think his name was KT Francis who too was like Cooray !!!

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  • wambling_future on July 2, 2011, 3:35 GMT

    Along with BC Cooray there was one more upmire... I think his name was KT Francis who too was like Cooray !!!

  • addiemanav on July 2, 2011, 4:20 GMT

    i do know that umpiring is a very difficult task and more stressful than the players but sometimes umps shud also be accoutable!!they cant be stubborn abt it,and admit if they hav made mistakes..thats why i like taufel coz he is always ready to accept that he had a below average game(a rarity)!!i remember this game,wasnt broadcasted live in ind,but saw the highlights and was shocked at the kind of decisions were made!!steve dunne was another ump who wud make mistakes and not agree!!arvinda de silva once smashed a ball almost to the keeper only for dunne to turn the indian appeal down!!and in chennai test in vs pak,ind wer chasing 270,and were 80-4 when ganguly drove a ball,the ball touched the ground then the silly point and lobbed in the air and moin khan dived in front and took a bump ball catch..it was difficult for anyone to take a decision without any replays,even pak players werent sure,but steve dunne and another ind ump consulted and gave ganguly out!!

  • pradeep_dealwis on July 2, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    SL went to tour Eng in 2003 and the bad umpiring against SL continued, and Eng won 2-0. I remember Hussein later saying the umpiring favored Eng in 2003 the same way it favored SL in 2001. A big joke that was..! Umpiring favored Eng both in 2001 and 2003! And the reason why they won both the series!

  • Vkarthik on July 2, 2011, 4:53 GMT

    BC Cooray was the same guy three leg before decisions in a row at Sharjah. Two of them were clearly not out.

  • donda on July 2, 2011, 6:18 GMT

    My only answer to this article is that era was Cronje, Azhruddin, Salim Malik, Wasim Akram etc era. Cricinfo. i am not using any wrong words here . OK. Don't stop it.

    So when those players were making fool out of whole cricket world why would umpires be left behind. I am confident that in that era , umpires were not in good hands too and umpires played some ungraceful man of the match innings.

    I am happy that ICC is now using neutral umpires and they have elite panel for test matches.

  • on July 2, 2011, 6:28 GMT

    I remember that Alec Stewart LBW. Jayasuriya was bowling over the wicket and the ball pitched at least a foot outside Leg Stump - and this was visible in real time - before Stewart kicked it away. Jayasuriya's appeal was, if anything, mocking the umpire. When Cooray responded positively even Jayasruiya looked confused.

  • Sailav on July 2, 2011, 6:31 GMT

    Javed Akhter of Pakistan was another umpire, who alway gave shocking and dubious decisions........Javed Akhter of Pakistan was another umpire, who alway gave shocking and dubious decisions........

  • murthydn16 on July 2, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    BC Cooray, KT Fracnis and Ashoka Desilva are the most blunderous umpires along with some aussie umpires like darry harper and ofcourse Bucknor. Once Cooray gave Robin Singh run out when Jayasuriya had no ball in his hand and distrubed the stumps.

  • Rahul_Paharia on July 2, 2011, 7:00 GMT

    I remember a ODI between India and SL in which BC was umpiring. He gave Robin Singh run out when he was clearly in, without referring to the third umpire. The worst thing was, the replays showed that he was getting out of the way of the throw and not even looking at the batsman when the ball hit the stumps. Bad umpires do not have one bad match. It is just that they get caught out in a match due to repeated howlers.

  • Charindra on July 2, 2011, 7:23 GMT

    OH YES! I remember this. The headline in the daily news screamed "Cooray bats for England" and they were right. It really looked like he was looking for British citizenship at times. @pradeep_dealwis - That's right. Both 2001 and 2003 went England's way because of the decisions of the umpires. I remember in 2003 Trescothick was given not out when he was plumb LBW to Murali and he made a big century and SL lost. Same thing happened in the 2nd test with another Eng batsman.