Cricket Vox Pop: Can anything be done to improve the standard of umpiring in cricket?

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The Independent Online
CLIVE HITCHCOCK

ICC ADMINISTRATION OFFICER

The International Cricket Council recognise that more focus and attention needs to be aimed at the training and development of umpires, because we accept that some countries deal with it better than others. The ICC intend to appoint someone to monitor and manage - in conjunction with the member countries - umpiring development, aiming for a conformity of standards. And that person - an appointment is imminent - will not be concerned solely with the top level, but all levels of the game from grass roots to Tests.

JOHN CARR

ECB DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

Technological developments may enable the role of the third umpire to be extended and may even offer valuable assistance to the two on-field umpires. But a careful balance will need to be maintained between developments designed to assist on-field umpires with their decision-making and the importance of ensuring that play is allowed to flow without frequent lengthy delays for referred decisions. We must not lose sight of the fact that the first-class umpires are, in general, performing a very difficult task with great distinction.

BARRIE LEADBEATER

UMPIRES' ASSOCIATION CHAIRMAN

It is about time TV companies employed an ex-umpire to provide some analysis. That would be a great help to umpires. What we are getting at the moment is not at all helpful. It would be good if the commentators stopped making their over-the-top statements about decisions in the middle. Some of the remarks are unacceptable. It is always the ex-players who are guilty, people who have never stood in a proper cricket match and do not have a clue about the difficulties of being an umpire.

NIGEL PLEWS

FORMER FIRST-CLASS UMPIRE

It is in the hands of the players. They have a responsibility and they must face up to it. This has nothing to do with orchestrated appealing. The new laws of the game will incorporate the spirit of cricket, which embraces honesty and fair play. Peter Willey and Ian Botham never stood their ground. Years ago if there was doubt whether a catch had been taken on the half-volley the batsman would ask the fielder; if the answer was "No" the batsman would walk. The umpire was never involved.

MATTHEW FLEMING

CRICKETERS' ASSOCIATION CHAIR

In England we have the best umpires in the world. The fundamental problem has been created by the game and by ourselves, the players. With increased commercialism in and around the game, which cricketers welcome, comes a concomitant increase in TV coverage and exposure. That means mistakes are going to be highlighted, and so is the dishonesty of players. If players were more honest then they would not have grounds for complaint. But if you play by the sword, then you die by the sword.

ADRIAN AYMES

HAMPSHIRE WICKETKEEPER

I think more use has to be made of technology. In this country we have Channel 4 and BSkyB at Tests, and all the film footage from both companies should be made available to the third umpire. There have been occasions when he has not had access to every angle. A couple of years ago during the Ashes series, Michael Slater appeared to be run out, was given not out, then five minutes later footage was "found" showing him to be out. That should never happen.

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