The IPL 10, the most celebrated edition of the IPL, is off to a rollicking start. Be it a stunning display of batsmanship by Chris Lynn and Gautam Gambhir, or be it Smith’s belligerent match-winning 84, be it Rahane’s top class batting display, or be it Maxwell’s ‘big show’. After all the aforementioned exploits, AB de Villiers descended and showed everyonw why he is from some another planet. The bowler’s have not been far brilliant and young Afghanisthan spinner, Rashid Khan has made everyone to sit up and take notice. the Indian Premier League, in its tenth edition, has seen it all at a very early stage. The IPL 10 is, as mentioned, off to a euphoric start and promises to mesmerise the fans as it progresses.
Like every tournament gets embroiled in one controversy or the other, it’s evident very early in the tournament that the IPL 10 will be mired by the poor-umpiring controversy. It’s early days, but the umpiring has been so extraordinarily poor that it has already become a talking point. It all started with the Rising Pune Supergiant’s game against Mumbai. Imran Tahir, in the fifteenth over of the game, bowled a googly which Pollard failed to read. He played for the conventional leg-spin and was struck in front, pad-first. A convincing appeal, within moments, transformed into a helpless one as the Umpire S. Ravi thought otherwise. Even the quintessential fan, watching the game on television, would have instantly gauged that it was out. Dhoni sarcastically signalled for DRS, in a bid to convey his disappointment to the umpire, for which he was later reprimanded. It was plumb in front. Earlier in the game, Jos Butler, who was off to a wonderful start was wrongfully adjudged LBW off Tahir, even as replays showed a clear inside-edge. We all hoped these were one-off incidents and that they won’t be repeated.
Mumbai Indians, eager to open their account after having lost their opening game against Rising Pune Supergiant Pune, played against Kolkata Knight Riders at home and were set a tricky 179 to get. As luck would have it, it was Jos Butler again. He looked in good touch and was adjudged LBW yet again when the ball clearly seemed to be missing the leg-stump. Moments later, Rohit Sharma was facing Sunil Narine when the finger-spinner’s doosra had Sharma in a spot of bother. He managed to get a thick inside-edge before the ball hit his pad. Narine appealed instinctively, and the Umpire quickly raised his finger. Rohit Sharma, who simply couldn’t believe what had transpired, showed obvious and harsh dissent over the decision, ranting as he walked away. Like MSD, the Mumbai skipper too was reprimanded.
It’s early days in the tournament and we already have quite a few controversial decisions. Apart from the fact that an otherwise fantastic tournament is suffering, this also highlights the plight of the Indian domestic cricket as far as umpiring is concerned. As Subramaniam Badrinath put it, “the umpiring problem has been present in domestic cricket since ages, it is just getting highlighted because of the IPL, where most of the umpires are domestic.”
The poor umpiring during the Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders game seemed to have irked the superstar Amitabh Bachchan as well. He made it clear with a Tweet. And then another witty one.
“2 atrocious decisions by umpires – Ross and Rohit were NOT OUT – despite that MI, WIN !! Poetic justice is alive and not out !!”
“Its JOSS not Ross ..!!! Pity that the umpire also could not make this rapid a correction in their decision !!”
We sincerely hope the umpiring quality improves in the rest of the tournament. It’s extremely important in the context of the tournament, game and Indian Cricket in general. We hope the right measures are taken by the organisers, rather than simply reprimanding players for displaying dissent. One bad decision can change the course of the game, and in certain situations, tournament too! Had it not been for late brilliance by Nitish Rana and Hardik Pandya in the MI vs KKR game, MI would have surely had to pay a heavy price for the umpiring blunders.