Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Steve Bucknor Sacked from Perth Test and Harbhajan Allowed to Play at Perth

Now, it seems that the likely deadlock of Australia vs Indian test series has come to an end with ICC’s intervention in the scene. There are two points out which have been discussed much in the last few days in the cricket world. The first one is controversial umpiring over the last two tests, in which most of the decisions went against India. The second one is Harbhajan Singh’s three-test ban for alleged racial abuse. BCCI has appealed before ICC against the conviction and asking for taking action against some wrong decisions of the umpires.

Now, the recent news is that ICC has sacked Steve Bucknor from umpiring the next test scheduled to be held in Perth and Harbhajan Singh has been allowed to play the remaining two test matches pending the appeal, which requires further hearing from both sides. So, nothing seems to be problematic at this moment for the remaining two test matches.

Well, I have something to say in this regard. ICC is the governing body of world cricket. They have some rules and laws written on the paper, which are followed by the cricket playing nations throughout the world. They have players’ code of conduct and some other laws needed to govern different aspects related to cricket. Now, my question is that does ICC have any law or regulation by which it can sack an umpire from a pre-appointed test match? If ICC thinks that the performance of Steve Bucknor is not up to the mark then he should be sacked form ICC’s job; not just for one match because no other team will afford to suffer from wrong decisions. Then, what was the base of his being sacked from the Perth test?

It is, for sure, Mr. Steve Bucknor had given some wrong decisions which went against India, and had those calls gone in favor of India then India might have been able to save the test. Well, this is not the first time an umpire gave a string of wrong decisions in a test match which affected badly in the result of the test. However, we did not see any umpire being sacked for a single test match just for some misjudgments. Now, my question is that if the team were not India or if the team were Bangladesh or Zimbabwe suffered from such decisions, would ICC take the similar action that it has taken against Steve Bucknor?

Actually, I believe that umpires are also human being and they may go though a bad time as the players go though a ‘bad patch’ sometimes. Well, you may argue that off-form players are dropped from the team. Yes, it is true and ICC may follow it for the umpires, but what is more important is that ICC should treat every team similarly. Technology should be used more in umpiring.

ICC can allow batsmen to appeal against a decision made by the umpire right on the field and then umpires can send the appeal to the third umpire, who will give the final verdict with the help of technology. However, it should not be applicable for LBW out. Thus, the result of the match will not be affected and there will have limited number of disputes in the matches.

The Age reported:

Australia can't afford to make an enemy of Pawar, whose board controls around 70% of cricket's global revenue.

If he isn't already the most powerful man in cricket, he certainly will be when he assumes chairmanship of the ICC in 2011.

It is now India's turn to compromise.

It is preposterous to believe that India would cough up to a nation that it believes has insulted its honour.

The ICC's rules would no longer be worth the paper they are written on and world cricket would split apart, almost certainly along colour lines.

Much more than personal honour hangs on whether a certain off-spinner used the word "monkey" to an opposing player.

This would not be fair to conclude that Harbhajan Singh is involved in racial abuse until the final verdict comes from ICC. The off spinner was never accused of racial abuse in the past. I believe that cricket is a Gentlemen’s game and a gentleman does not need to be involved in sledging or verbal abuse in order to prove his gentlemanliness. I hope that verbal abuse and sledging will disappear from cricket.

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