Since the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) took charge more than a year back, all functioning BCCI committees had been disbanded till such time an Apex Council was elected. With the IPL Governing Council also now defunct, the standard answer to queries about what is the likely fallout of an error of this nature is that umpires and officials in the course of the IPL are answerable only to the CoA.
The BCCI General Manager (Cricketing Operations) is in-charge of ensuring quality umpiring at the domestic level. Earlier, this role was played by the Umpiring Committee, which not only selected but also trained umpires in this country.
However, when BCCI GM Saba Karim was asked about Elite umpire Ravi’s howler, he told CricketNext, “The umpires in the IPL don’t come under my purview. You have to ask IPL officials what action they will take against Ravi.”
On their part, IPL officials said that umpiring performance will only be discussed in the next CoA meeting. The BCCI officials say that the flux was a direct result of CoA’s insistence on keeping all such matters within its purview.
“When the IPL Governing Council was in place, strict standards in umpiring and even pitch management was maintained. Now nobody is being held accountable. When umpires like Ravi, who is supposed to be on the ICC Elite Panel and the best umpire from this country, is making such basic mistakes, can you imagine what’s the state of affairs in domestic cricket?” a senior BCCI official told CricketNext on Friday.
Every umpire is paid amount to the tune Rs 2.5 lakhs for officiating in IPL games.
“The BCCI GM introduced a system of match referees assessing umpires and umpires in turn assessing match referees in domestic games. How is there going to be an unbiased assessment with such a system in place?” the BCCI official added.
The CoA on their part assured that the matter will discussed urgently when the committee next meets.
“Umpire Ravi is a very experienced official and is part of the ICC panel. But he is also human and he can make mistakes. We have competent officials in place to judge the umpiring standards,” sources close to the CoA informed CricketNext.
However, it is unlikely that CoA will be able to do much to censure Ravi or the other on-field umpire C Nandan. A total of 11 Indian umpires have been employed to officiate in the 56 IPL games. Apart from Ravi and Nandan, only three out of these umpires — Shamshuddin, Anil Chaudhary and Nitin Menon — have international umpiring experience, with only Ravi on the ICC Elite Panel. If Ravi is kept out of officiating in the IPL Playoff ties, the only option will be for the likes of Marais Erasmus, Chris Gaffaney and Bruce Oxenford to step in.
Umpiring howlers in domestic cricket have been rampant with the most prominent recent incident involving Cheteshwar Pujara in the Ranji Trophy semifinal, where the umpire failed to spot a big deviation from his bat, that ultimately proved costly for Karnataka as Saurashtra got into the final with Pujara going on to score a century.
First Published: March 29, 2019, 4:42 PM IST