What goes through a square-leg umpire’s mind?
The square-leg umpire is an intriguing figure, a lonely figure. The advent of the third umpire has made him the common man in a democracy – he has a vote, but the vote barely counts. Some umpires do as much as they can while some just resign to their fate. The problem with the square-leg umpire is that he has plenty of time – so much time, he would almost feel like an elected member of the House, who has nothing to do but doze off.
I mean, that’s a little offensive to the umpire – elected members are allowed to chill inside a cosy hall.
But, the square leg umpire is the only one during the game who pretends to be part of the action but isn’t actually. Every once in a while, he does catch some transgressions but mostly, he has to wait to get to the stumps where he can behave like a proper employee. Here are five things that probably go through his mind as his brain wanders on the lush green outfields.
#1 What is the purpose of life but the delegation of work!
The fielders have to spot the ball. The umpire at the bowling crease has to spot the no-ball. The batsman has to spot the gap. Everyone on the field is part of a bigger mission. The square-leg umpire though needn’t spot anything. I am sure that gives him an identity crisis. Yes, occasionally, there’ll be the appeal for stumping or run-out and he could, coolly, draw the box in the air and delegate the task to another person.
And these days, the fielders are polite enough to put the stumps back, so the square leg umpire doesn’t even have to run all the way to set them properly. Such nice kids!