The grounds may be out of bounds but that has not deterred India’s top ICC panel umpires from upgrading their third umpiring skills as they are consistently engaging themselves with “match simulation activities”.
ICC International Panel umpires such as Nitin Menon, Anil Chaudhary, C Shamshuddin and Virender Sharma are keeping up the pace through online tutorials. “We are constantly studying the playing conditions and laws of cricket and keeping ourselves updated. We have group discussions with ICC Umpire Coaches and we also undertake simulation activities regarding third umpiring,” Sharma told bcci.tv.
The advent of technology, in recent years, has helped the game of cricket but has increased the challenge as well.mThe purpose of online training is to establish uniformity. “We are practising scenarios and watching the actual match footage and training ourselves. The motive is to ensure that we are all on the same page and we agree and follow the same protocols when it comes to DRS,” explained Shamshuddin.
Shamshuddin got injured during the Ranji Trophy final in Rajkot and it took him 10 days to recover. “Injuries are a part and parcel of the game. I am completely fine now. As umpires, we must always be ready to perform to the best of our ability and be ready for the new season whenever it starts.” Shamshuddin is also helping the local umpires of the Hyderabad Cricket Association. “There are some umpires whose livelihood is directly depended on cricket matches and right now they have nothing to fall back on. Our endeavour is to help them get through this tough period.”
Menon, one of India’s brightest young umpires, who is the 62nd Indian to officiate in a Test match, spoke about how IPL experience helped while officiating in a Test match. “It is every umpire’s dream to officiate in a Test match. I was a bit nervous, but followed my routine and familiar conditions helped me. Having officiated in IPL matches before, I was confident as I had seen most of the players earlier. The IPL experience not only helps the players, but also the match officials like us,” Menon said.