Umpires are being increasingly undermined in international cricket and there are players who seem to think they, rather than the officials, are running the game.
Take Virat Kohli. Before the first ODI the India captain said umpire’s call should be removed from the decision review system and if the ball is shown to be hitting any part of the stumps it should be given out.
Kohli does not seem to have taken the consequences into account. If everything is out, including when the ball is just clipping the bails, then all Tests would be over in two days. An ODI would be over in four hours.
Virat Kohli (above) turned up the heat before the start of the one-day international series
Bowlers known for their accuracy like Jimmy Anderson, Josh Hazlewood and Jasprit Bumrah would be taking eight wickets every innings.
When I was an umpire there was many a time I said ‘not out’ thinking it might be hitting but that it might also be missing. An element of doubt must be taken into account. That should still be the case today, as we see in the DRS on marginal calls.
Do you think broadcasters would pay big bucks If every game was rushed to a rapid conclusion by everything being given out? It would cost cricket millions and players’ pay would also take a big cut.
Kohli had said that umpire’s call should be removed from the decision review system
He also said that players should be out if the ball is shown hitting any part of the stumps
Kohli also suggested England were pressuring umpires to give the ‘soft signal’ as out when Dawid Malan took a low catch in the fourth T20. Firstly, the soft signal is there to leave as much authority as possible with the on-field umpires.
And I don’t know if England put pressure on Nitin Menon in Ahmedabad, but I do know one thing — Kohli has been pressuring, disrespecting and remonstrating with umpires throughout this tour.
There have also been a number of altercations in India which, when copied, will permeate through every level. There was another on Tuesday near the end of the India innings. You should not confront an opposition player on the field. It’s just not done. And the toothless International Cricket Council have done nothing.
However, all ODIs would be over in four hours if Kohli’s suggestions were taken on board
It’s the same with slow over-rates. When T20 cricket was introduced in 2003 it was short, sharp and great fun. Now it’s like the Alamo. Games are lasting more than four hours! And Tuesday’s first innings of 50 overs took over four hours! The consequences? Again, broadcasters, especially terrestrial ones, will be wary of buying the product because they don’t know how it’s going to affect their schedules.
Yes, the ICC fined both teams during the T20 series but the players will not give a damn. We don’t know how much they are being fined, who is paying them and where the money goes.
Umpires have to be given their authority back. They must be handed yellow and red cards to stamp that lost authority because they look powerless. And Kohli, who has vast responsibility and influence, should be very careful in what he says and does.
England collapsed from 135 without loss to 251 all out to lose the first ODI to India by 66 runs