Cricket

ICC backs Vineet Kulkarni, Indian umpires

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Previously, only a handful of Indians made an impression as an umpire and one among those was former India off-spinner and captain S. Venkatraghavan.

That the men in white coat from India doesn’t seem to inspire confidence and come short of expectations is an oft-repeated opinion heard in cricketing circles in India, but the ICC which has put in place a highly structured system to assign umpires for international duties encourages promising umpires of the member countries, holds a completely different view of Vineet Kulkarni and Chettithody Shamshuddin.

Under fire for giving a few decisions that did not go down well with the home team in the Twenty20 and ODI series against South Africa, Vineet Kulkarni is rated highly by the ICC which awards more matches to better performing umpires.

Tamil Nadu’s S. Ravi gave a shot in the arm for Indian umpiring in June 2015 when he was promoted to the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires after a consistent decision making in Test rubbers, ODIs and Twenty20 matches.

The Pune-based Kulkarni — on the basis of getting 95 per cent of his decisions right in international matches — was placed high in the ICC ratings. Recently the ICC fined Indian team manager Vinod Phadke for talking in public against Kulkarni’s decisions in India – South Africa One-Day International at Indore.

“The ICC feels he (Kulkarni) is good. Even Shamshuddin has impressed the ICC and especially the match referee for the ODI series, Chris Broad,” said a BCCI source.

Previously, only a handful of Indians made an impression as an umpire and one among those was former India off-spinner and captain S. Venkatraghavan.

He stood in 72 Test matches and 52 ODIs during an 11 year old career from 1993 to 2004. Another umpire who according to sources, once got 98 per cent of his decisions right in the international matches he did, was Delhi’s K. Hariharan, but he suffered because of a bizarre policy by the BCCI’s Umpire Committee to distribute ODI matches to all and sundry.

According to a BCCI functionary Hariharan should have officiated in more Tests as part of the ICC panel.

The chances of a handful of good Indian umpires staking claim for more international matches in India and abroad was lost due to the BCCI umpires committee’s decision to award ODI matches to a total of 24 umpires from 2000-2002. Fourteen umpires were given just one match by the umpires committee headed by DDCA’s C.K. Khanna.

He became the Chairman of the umpires committee in 2004-05, but by then the ICC had put in place a structure that prevented the umpires committee to dole out international matches to umpires. After 11 years, C.K. Khanna was nominated chairman of the umpires committee at the AGM here on November 9.

Things have turned for the better for the Indian umpires with the BCCI hiring Simon Taufel, the five-time winner of the ICC umpire of the year award and until recently the ICC Umpire Performance and Training Manager, to conduct annual seminars, clinics and programmes at the umpires’ academy in Nagpur.

Indians in the ICC International panel of umpires are Kulkarni, Shamshuddin (on field), Anil Chaudhary and C. Nandan (Third). S. Ravi is in the Elite Panel

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 7:53:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/icc-backs-vineet-kulkarni-indian-umpires/article7905915.ece

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