Improving umpiring

Just Outsource the front foot no ball

Takes a lot of pressure away from the umpire. Right now he has to keep looking down till the bowler bowls and then suddenly jerk his neck up and decide on lbws and caught behinds and bat pads. This jerk of the neck causes considerable strain, and can also present the umpire with a not-so-good angle and the probability of error goes up.

One reason us people in front of the TV get more LBWs right than the umpire is that we are not looking down at the popping crease waiting for no balls. Another thing is that there have been a number of cases where the front foot no ball hasn’t been given (notably in the barbados test in 1997, old trafford in 2001 when saqlain consistently overstepped, and last week when jaffer got out to lee) and outsourcing the no ball decision, either to the third umpire or to a computer would help immensely.

We can have special cameras installed in the ground which only provide a view of the popping crease at both ends. And while the ball is being delivered it’s the job of the third umpire to decide on front foot no balls. He anyways has? no work to do unless he is referred by the on field umpires.

That said and done, we need to develop technology for this soon enough. I suspect some variation of the cyclops used in tennis might come in useful here.

Anyways, I’m reminded of this quiz question in the Shaastra Main Quiz in 2002, where the question was about the inventor of cyclops sitting in his home and watching saqlain destroy England bowling no balls and wondering whether his invention would be useful.

Deodhar VS Salve

I?m surpised we are not having a ?Challenger Trophy? before selection of the Indian team for the World Cup. For, of late, the BCCI practice before any big tour or tournament has been to have this mindless tournament, named after yet another of those politician-administrators N K P Salve. A tournament where the ?India Seniors? team takes on the supposed second and third string teams, with the intention of providing the 33 best players in the country a chance to show their mettle.

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Dear Indian Mainstream Media,
You owe us chess lovers an explanation as to why you haven’t covered the Topalov-Kramnik unification match at all. Save the odd report regarding the toilet controversy, there has been absolutely no mention about the match in the Indian print media, and this behavior is totally unacceptable.

You should visit any of these state or city level age group tournaments to know what the chess scene is like in India. Following Anand’s success at the top millions of parents think their kid too can make it and for him/her to take chess lessons and participate in tournaments even before he/she enters school. Ten years ago when I played in age group tournamnets all matches were timed. Now, I hear that people are being asked to bring their own chessboards. Such is the growth of chess in India.

Did you think Anand’s absence was a convenient excuse? Then why do you give so much footage to ATP and WTA singles, when no Indian is even close to winning a tournament (Sania Mirza is overrated)? So that people can lech at Sharapova and Nadal? Why, then, do you give so much footage to the PGA tour, where Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstram are not even lechable!

Or is it that you yourself weren’t aware of this match? In that case, as media houses, you have absolutely no business to be in your business. And should quickly shut down and let someone competent take over.

We didn’t want much. All we needed were a couple of write-ups leading up to the match (there are enough grandmasters from India who could do this for you), and then when the match started, a game-by-game summary of where it is progressing. Coverage of the entire match wouldn’t have taken mroe than a total of half a page of newsprint!

I hereby request you to tender an apology for your gross negligence of this issue, and promise that such things don’t happen again in the future. Your support is essential for making India a superpower in any sport.


Cricket Illustrated

This is in reference to the article “life is a game of cricket” I wrote a few days ago. Today we were discussing the answers to a certain examination and I was able to explain everything in cricketing terms… The paper consisted of 40 Multiple Choice Questions with +1 for every right answer and -1 for every wrong.

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