behind those good and the bad decisions
Umpire's job is one of the most difficult jobs since he has to concentrate
for each and every delivery. If it is a Test match almost he has
to be alert for the 90 overs which takes more than 6 hours of standing
in the middle. These days whether it is Test or One Days umpires
are pressurised by the players immensely. Unwanted appeals are there
especially to put the umpire under pressure and by hook or crook
to get the batsmen out. Even the players are under severe pressure
to keep their positions intact.
Because of the
high technology available and giant screens available in most of
the grounds, replays are shown once the decision is given. If this
is a wrong decision then the umpire is criticised by the crowd at
the ground as well as viewers watching on TV.
Whether it is
One Day or Test match the approach by most of the umpires are same.
One day before the start of the match they meet the groundsman and
inspect the pitch. They also meet their colleague umpire and the
all-important boss the Match Referee.
Since ICC appointed
umpires know each other very well it makes their life very easy.
On the match day 2 hours before the schedule start the umpires arrive
at the grounds and meet the 3rd umpire or they call the TV umpire.
At this time the club secretary will hand over the match ball to
the senior umpire. The umpires do an inspection about 30 minutes
before the start.
Since the match
referee look after the toss the umpires need not go for the toss
but they have a chat with both captains. When they are at the centre
they have to concentrate every delivery and if it is a One-Day match
they have to count the number of overs bowled by each bowlers.
of the day they meet their fellow umpires and the match referee
and discuss how the day went and what went wrong etc. All the players
should obey the umpires and if they are found guilty for unwanted
play or abusing other players generally they are warned. But if
it is goes out of hand they are reported to the top man, the Match
Referee who will severely deal with them. After all the umpires
are humans they are bound to make mistakes.
But if this
happens very regularly they might loose the contract with the ICC,
which in return they will loose the handsome payments made to them
by ICC. In the 1975, 1979 and 1983 World Cup matches which were
played in England all umpires were Englishmen. But it changed in
1987 when India and Pakistan hosted the World Cup.
At the moment
there are only 8 umpires in the ICC panel. Since there are 10 Test
playing nations and most of them are involved in Test series, all
these 8 umpires are continually engaged. The most senior umpires
in the ICC panel are Shepherd, Bucknor and Venkat.
past decade much has been done towards the development of the game
in this country. In all areas there has been progress slow but steady.
Cricket is the most popular sport and the only team sport where
Sri Lanka competes at an international level. It is not just competing,
the country is accepted as one of the best in the sport. The game
is growing steadily.
Looking at the
sport globally, the same could not be said about the super powers
in the game. England, South Africa and West Indies are facing stiff
competition from other sports and other attractions (or distractions)
of life. Should the game not be attractive in these countries, then,
the desire goes out of the window.
No more do youngsters
want to be reserves or be on the field all day should they not get
a decent bat or/and a bowl or umpire or score whilst their mates
enjoy a game. Time has become so precious. Time is achievement,
progress and riches. The individual has become number one. Tough
in a sport such as cricket where team work is an absolute ingredient.
the former brilliant batsman from South Africa now a TV commentator
and cricket businessman, made certain observations recently, during
a lecture at the Colin Cowdrey Spirit of Cricket forum, held recently
at Lord's. His observations were of cricket in England. A country
he excelled for over a decade playing professionally for Hampshire
in the county circuit.
and changing lifestyles has come a generation accustomed to things
happening at a far greater pace a generation demanding action, color,
drama, spectacle a generation raised on sensation. And let's face
it, our dear old game was not fashioned for all this. Once the second
most popular sport in England the summer game is slipping down the
list. If you look to the grassroots, it's clear we face a problem
I would even say a crisis.
It's bad enough
that in this country the home of the game - county games take place
before a tiny sprinkling of mainly elderly spectators. Or that many
exciting Tests are played out before less than full houses. Or that
the quality of performance below the top level is falling as the
player base dwindles. And if that's not bad enough, the real cause
for concern is that youngsters who in the past would have dreamed
of playing Test cricket at Lord's are now much more likely to dream
of playing Highbury.
A Channel 4
survey of 14 to 24-year-olds recently found a disturbing indifference
to cricket. We must attract youngsters to play it and youngsters
to watch it. Because without them, the game will die. So I welcome
the 20 over games, although why introduce them so cautiously? In
my view if we feel compelled to change to survive we should do so
wholeheartedly, with confidence and style.
We should ask
whether selectors should encourage more attacking cricket by giving
players the kind of (at least short-term) security that encourages
them to take risks. Should there also be a bonus element for fielding?
Should we build into the scoring system a bonus element for entertainment
value? Should we take more action to speed the game up?
Should we downgrade
the importance of averages and statistics so as to discourage performances
that look better in Wisden than they do on the field? Will statistics
reveal in later years the difference between 100 scored by a crowd
thrilling Adam Gilchrist or 100 scratched out over twice the time
by a lesser entertainer? Does it matter? I think it does: It is
the Gilchrists who will bring the young back to the game.
Take the first Test between England and Sri Lanka. It was clear
within a couple of overs on the last day that England had no inclination
to try to win. There are those who say: Well done, they saved the
match. Yet, there was hardly anyone in the ground. If you were a
sixteen-year-old deciding what mattered this summer, the cricket
or the World Cup football, what would you have turned to after you
had endured an hour or two of that Monday at Lord's?
far sighted thoughts from the master batsman. The popularity and
participation in the game is on the rise in India, Pakistan, Sri
Lanka and Bangladesh. It will take a long while for the pendulum
to begin its swing away from that. The Australians were clever to
look into the future after the Packer affair and have built a solid
infrastructure. They spare no pains in a constant search for progress
world has to be aware that they have to make the game attractive
to keep pace with the challenges of the 21st century.
Festival a resounding success
The Tony Whitham-Jannine Weeratunge duo brought out the best in
their organising skills to turn a harassing assignment into a resounding
success. The SriLankan Golf Festival at the Victoria Golf Club Digana
over 4 tiring days was most enjoyable and played in a great spirit
of camaraderie To join with them was slender leggy Dishini Abeywardena
PR Manager SirLankan ably assisted by another formidable duo Nirmalie
Paldano and Hyacinth de Silva
There was a massive invasion of foreign participants from all
over the world and to a man and woman they expressed absolute delight
in the lush beauty of the country, the warm and friendly people
and most of all the elegance of the Digana Course. They were thrilled
to be afforded 4 rounds of golf in superb weather finishing into
a tremendous spirit of friendliness at the 19th hole where quite
a few performed creditably. I was not surprised to hear a few say
"Thanks for the intoxicating hospitality SriLankan we shall
come again with many more". A signal tribute to the warmth
shown by the hosts headed by Peter Hill and Chandana de Silva who
were absolutely lavish.
Offer the little fella an Airline Ticket and he controls his
flamboyant swing, measures his approach shots and gets spot on when
putting. That is exactly what he did over two rounds to collect
62 gross points, a load of accolades and an Air Ticket to any destination
of his choosing. Alain Gyi came behind him with 59 points.
Iskander Saludin is an attractive stroke player. He hits a
helluva long ball, plays miserly with his strokes and rarely gets
extravagant. He was amply rewarded with 73 and a UL Ticket for collecting
the best nett score. Wasantha de Silva another strong contender
came behind with 71.
Two Ex-Ladies Champion of yesteryear outshone the younger contenders
quite comfortably. Suwaneetha Selvaratnam struck a gross 60 to beat
Yvonne "Duchess" Abayaratne by one point and capture a
long haul UL Air Ticket and applause at the Award Ceremony. Suwaneetha
followed this up by picking the nett score competition beating Indra
Tibblin by a thin margin. Selvaratnam went further with her vast
experience and skill to win the Seniors event. 3 wins in one tournament
was a helluva achievement for the good lady.
Hans Brehens an ENT Specialist from Portland, Oregon on a work
assignment in Bahrain was in splendid form on the Course and in
the description of his play. It was a shot by shot experience for
us including his inseparable friend Paul Frost a Teethcare Specialist
from the Sunshine state of Australia.
fairways, supreb greens but an absolute misery of hole No. 2 caused
me a painful heartburn" was what he had to say over several
Carlsbergs at the pleasurable 19th. He won the seniors Event comfortably
and with beaming enthusiasm he was telling almost the whole world
that he was coming for the next UL Festival if not earlier. Frost
has agreed to join with a few more.
Jackie Dias won the Ladies Longest Drive with a stunning scorcher.
Youne won the men's comfortably. In the nearest to the pin contest
Indra Tibblin was unmatchable.
Prizes were awarded for the best nett scores each day. Navin
de Silva of AIRBUS fame went streets ahead of every competitor with
a stunning nett 42 points the best for the tournament. He was beaming
all day up to the last hour. Roshini Sangani smashed 38 points on
the first day, Anel de Silva plundered 38 on the 2nd day and Chris
Halloway was spectacular with 40 points on the final day which caused
him to give the Bostock clan sitting round him a ball by ball commentary
on his memorable achievement.
Saturday Night was the big triumph for SriLankan when they
presented an absolutely stunning floor show of Sri Lanka talent
which many volunteered was comparable with the best they had seen
in their well spread travels. The show was magnificent to say the
Peter Hill excelled in fun filled speech craft at the opening of
the Stage Show. He received thunderous applause as he promised the
party would fade to crack of dawn filled with unlimited food and
& Lalin Samarawickrema defied the laws of gravity maintaining
balance with dozens of visitors joyfully joining enthusiastically
in the popular Baila Sessions which was led by the colourful personality
Chandana de Silva. David & Jack Koch from Sydney were active
participants in every event. They played great golf but not good
enough to win. Excellent company at the 19th they promised to come
again as their country of birth still remains close to the heart.
The Award Ceremony
was superbly organised and pretty slick. The C.E.O. Peter Hill thanked
the world of participants and the Whitham-Weeratunge duo. After
a massive round of applause Chandana de Silva took over the vote
of thanks eloquently. It was a tremendous long weekend, splendid
Golf, delightful hosts and happy memories.