The Heavy Ball

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The BCCI decides to do away with umpires

If it's broke you gotta fix it, after all. Featuring impeccable arguments from MS Dhoni and Sunny G

Anand Ramachandran

Comments: 44 | Text size: A | A
Sachin Tendulkar shares a light moment with umpire Steve Davis, South Africa v India, 2nd Test, Durban, 3rd day, December 28, 2010
"The bad news is, you're fired. The good news is, these glasses have U/V protection" © Associated Press
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In an unexpected fallout of their continuing rejection of the UDRS, the BCCI has decided to do away with umpires starting with the next bilateral series.

"Well, it's like this. We still reject the use of the UDRS in matches involving India, since we believe that it isn't one 100% accurate," said Sunil Gavaskar, chariman of the BCCI technical committee, explaining the decision. "Then we realised that, come to think of it, neither are umpires. So we've decided to stop using umpires from the next series."

"So, in keeping with our policy of not endorsing any decision-making device that isn't completely reliable and error-free, we have decided that there is no real advantage to having umpires in a match," said Gavaskar, casting a sideways glance at a glowering S Venkataraghavan, who looked more menacing than he ever did during his playing days.

This unusual move takes on significance in the light of events in the recently concluded India-England World Cup encounter in Bangalore, where a couple of missed nicks and an lbw referral went against India.

"Arguably, umpiring errors cost us a win in that game. I'm all for any method that will help reduce umpiring errors that affect the outcomes of matches. Since getting rid of umpires completely will eliminate umpiring errors altogether, I think it's great for the game," said India skipper MS Dhoni, defending the decision. When someone pointed out that without umpires the game would lose some of the charm and unpredictability brought about by the human element, he replied, "Oh, don't worry about the element of human error. We have Piyush Chawla for that."

However, the decision has been mostly met with a mixture of disbelief, contempt and scepticism.

"Without umpires you lose a key part of cricket's appeal - the appeal. The appeal has appeal - that's how I feel. And that feeling's for real. I'll wheel and deal. With a heart of steel. Zimbabwe had a spinner named Stephen Peall," said Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, unexpectedly breaking out into an enthusiastic rap but eventually forced to resort to contrivance in order to rhyme.

"I believe the BCCI's decision will deprive us of some of the game's great pleasures, such as seeing Harbhajan Singh's expression when an lbw is turned down, or Ricky Ponting's mid-pitch symposiums on topics such as 'The Impeccability of the Ethics of RT Ponting' and 'Minor Loopholes and Flaws in the Laws of Physics, Especially Gravity'. It's a shame," said former Australia great Ian Chappell, looking nervously over his shoulder to check if he would suddenly be interrupted by a Navjot Singh Sidhu special.

"Look, accuracy isn't everything. I would know," said Ashish Nehra, one of the current players who oppose the move. "We need to have umpires on the field, so that I can keep track of when I'm bowling no-balls and wides.", said Nehra, reinforcing the widely held belief that he needed external intervention to point out that his deliveries were heading off towards fifth slip.

However, the BCCI continues to dig in its heels and remain steadfast in the face of criticism. "People accuse the BCCI of being resistant to change and new technology, especially over the UDRS issue. But the truth is that we're the most forward-thinking of cricket boards. Who else has come up with such an elegant and effective way of eliminating umpiring errors from the game?" asked Gavaskar, before adding that the BCCI also has plans of addressing the problem of substandard pitches by getting rid of pitches themselves.

In related news, the PCB has denied that they were taking similar steps to rid cricket of spot-fixing. "No, we don't believe there's any need for that," said PCB head Ijaz Butt. "We have no evidence of any substandard or error-filled spot-fixing in Pakistan - it is all of the highest quality," he said reassuringly.

RSS FeedAnand Ramachandran is a writer, comics creator and videogame designer who works when he isn't playing some game with an "of" in its name. He blogs here and tweets here. All quotes and "facts" in this article are made up (but you knew that already, didn't you?)

Tell us what you think. Send us your feedback

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Comments: 44 
Posted by   on (March 4, 2011, 19:56 GMT)

brilliant...the rhyming lines were awesome...

Posted by alooser on (March 4, 2011, 11:33 GMT)

Ha ha ha! the vekatraghavan rap had me in splits.. Thank god for this humour.. really relaxes your mind in office.. keep it up lads

Posted by vaitheesk on (March 3, 2011, 4:04 GMT)

"Oh, don't worry about the element of human error. We have Piyush Chawla for that." - whoa...takes the cake...

Posted by Tapob on (March 2, 2011, 5:31 GMT)

This is one of the funniest I ever read in this page!! Keep writing!!

Posted by Thusha_P on (March 2, 2011, 3:57 GMT)

Ha..ha..ha.. Good one...I loved that Nehra's portion..and the last paragraph..LOL

Posted by   on (March 2, 2011, 3:28 GMT)

These page 2 articles are usually only chucklesome to me, but this one made me laugh out loud "Oh, don't worry about the element of human error. We have Piyush Chawla for that."

Posted by   on (March 2, 2011, 3:21 GMT)

Anand...thank you for your ingenuity...all of our household had just started a hot discussion on it...

Posted by   on (March 2, 2011, 3:17 GMT)

Finally sanity prevails................GOOD NEWS

People didn't accept even Newton's laws in first place....................It takes conservative minds a little too long to accept the facts.

Now the winners will be genuinely the winners and losers will have no excuse for their loss...!!............Well us cricket fans are very happy.

Posted by BartSimpson01 on (March 1, 2011, 23:47 GMT)

hahaha ... LMAO ... wudn't mind seeing a skit of this, with all the people named above taking PART ... A rapping Siva with Snoop dog attire ... LOL

Posted by amerch786 on (March 1, 2011, 21:26 GMT)

Here is my take. Get rid of LBW and introduce 5 stumps instead of 3. Now how about that?

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Anand Ramachandran
Anand Ramachandran is a game designer and writer based in Bangalore. He specialises in finding creative ways to justify time and money spent on watching sports, playing games and reading comics as "professional investment". He boasts a batting average of 79.66 with 53 first-class hundreds in various cricket videogames, on platforms as diverse as the Sinclair ZX-Spectrum and modern PCs and consoles.

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Anand RamachandranClose
Anand Ramachandran Anand Ramachandran is a game designer and writer based in Bangalore. He specialises in finding creative ways to justify time and money spent on watching sports, playing games and reading comics as "professional investment". He boasts a batting average of 79.66 with 53 first-class hundreds in various cricket videogames, on platforms as diverse as the Sinclair ZX-Spectrum and modern PCs and consoles.
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