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UK media flays umpires for Kanpur 'farce'

UK media flays umpires for Kanpur 'farce'

India's D-L win in the Kanpur ODI against England was dubbed 'farcical' by an angry British media.

London: India's Duckworth-Lewis win in the Kanpur One-Dayer against England was dubbed 'farcical' by an angry British media, which lambasted umpires Russell Tiffin and Amiesh Sahiba for their "lack of common sense" in conducting the game.

India won by 16 runs in the 49-overs-a-side match that started late and ended early under fading light, much to the frustration of English team which is now 0-3 down in the seven-match series.

English skipper Kevin Pietersen minced no words in saying that his side had been robbed of a win by the way officials conducted the match and his views were seconded by an equally furious media here.

"The International Cricket Council is always changing its playing regulations, but one rule that it claims umpires can apply at any time is common sense, something utterly lacking in Kanpur," wrote The Daily Telegraph.

"...You could understand their (England players') anger at seeing their best chance of winning a game in this One-Day series disappear at the click of a light meter," it said.

Putting the blame squarely on Tiffin -- the senior of the two officials -- the newspaper said the match could have done with a shorter lunch break, as suggested by Pietersen and England coach Peter Moores.

The daily said deducting just one over a side after a 45-minute delay was also a logic-defying decision.


"He (Tiffin) should have shortened the lunch interval, which umpires can do, following the One-Day farce at Edgbaston last year, when play was called off just one over short of constituting a game," the newspaper said.

"Their biggest mistake was made at the start, when Tiffin announced that the match would be 49-overs a side. Fitting that many in after losing 45 minutes at the start was always overly optimistic and, given a 10-minute tweak at lunch, 45 overs-a-side would have been about perfect."

The Guardian was also scathing in its criticism of how the game went about and said, "The match was delayed by 45 minutes for morning mist, but nonsensically the overs were reduced only by one over per side to 49. By 4.30pm, the light was predictably fading, and even though England's spinners were bowling, umpires Russell Tiffin and Amiesh Saheba offered India bad light and victory by the dreaded Duckworth-Lewis calculations.

"Appoint an umpire called Tiffin to a match involving India and England and it is to be expected that he comes over all 'old colonial' and stops for tea at 4.30," the newspaper fumed.

The Independent felt the umpires robbed England of what could have been a hard-fought and deserving win.

"The Kanpur smog ruined Englands chances of fighting their way back in to the seven match series when the umpires offered India's batsmen the light with the game delicately placed.


"India still required 43 in nine overs with five wickets in hand when the match officials deemed the conditions not to be fit, a decision that robbed England the chance of a victory they had worked so hard to achieve," the daily wrote.

The Times echoed the sentiment and said the officials' surprised one and all with their decisions despite being well aware of the weather conditions in the Indian city.

"For all that, questions need to be asked over why the game was allowed to end before time. Anybody who has been in Kanpur this week knew that the light starts to fade around four o'clock in the afternoon.

"The second mistake of the officials was to dock just a single over from each innings instead of reducing the break between innings. Those two decisions created a farce that was waiting to happen," it said.

Wide-selling tabloid, The Daily Mail described the upmpires' decision "crass" and wrote, "Cricket's capacity to shoot itself in the foot knows no bounds and the farcical end to the third One-Day International here on Thursday was another example of rules and regulations holding sway over the interests of spectators and simple common sense.

"At the end of it, England's slim chances of taking anything from this series had all but disappeared."

first published:November 21, 2008, 11:00 IST