Ever since cricket resumed after the coronavirus-induced lockdown, local umpires have been officiating in all international matches. The International Cricket Council had brought in some changes for the safe resumption of cricket, and one of those changes was having home umpires officiating in games in order to reduce travel-related risks.
This decision has gathered sharp criticism from fans and cricketers, with a number of umpiring blunders ever since the sport resumed after the break. At the end of Day 1 of the Boxing Day Test, Jasprit Bumrah, upon being asked about his thought on neutral umpires, said:
"Look, these are the things that we can't control, I understand that the situations are difficult and all of these things are out of our hands, so I try not to focus on those things that we can't control."
"Yeah, it is unfortunate that the umpires are not able to travel, but it is something that I don't have any power of changing, so we try to focus on the things we can," said Bumrah about the decision that didn't have much impact in how the day panned out for India as Paine was dismissed shortly after."
Earlier in December, West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder, too, expressed his disappointment regarding the issue and said:
"What I would say about the umpiring, or the situation of the umpires, is that if we can travel and do a quarantine, I don't see why an opposing umpire can't travel and do the quarantine. I still don't understand a situation where we're just having home umpires"
Tim Paine run-out: An umpiring controversy
Australian captain Tim Paine was lucky to survive a close run out call during the opening day of the Boxing Day Test. In the 55th over, there was a mix up between Tim Paine and Cameron Green. Umesh Yadav got the throw in from cover to the striker’s end and Rishabh Pant took off the bails.
The third umpire took a long time to take his decision as Tim Paine’s bat was very close to the crease when the stumps were disturbed. One angle suggested Tim Paine’s bat was on the line. Another suggested the Australian captain had managed to get his bat just over the line.
The incident had fans and the cricket fraternity divided on the final decision taken, and concerns were once again raised on ICC's decision to have local umpires officiating in international matches.Published 26 Dec 2020, 17:56 IST