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Match Referees , Umpires and English dissents.

By 'The Seeing Eye' for 'Sightscreens Unlimited' For LankaWeb.

The recently concluded Test match in Galle seems to have had a few ill winds blown across it together with the salubrious Ocean Breezes of Galle and as usual the Englishmen with Naseer Hussain at their helm are moaning and groaning at their demise criticizing the umpiring and all else except facing upto the reality that they were well and truly outplayed.Hopefully being Englishmen, their actions do not represent those of bad losers but the veiled sentiments of their captain seem to indicate frustration and dissapontment which The Game of Cricket expects its participants to bear with dignity.

This particular game was not helped by its trigger happy, 'lame duck' Match Referee throwing fines and cautions at all and sundry and the name Hanumant Singh seems to be synonymous with Dinosaur whose faculties surely must be archaic to say the least if age is any factor.Match referees should be young, perceptive, judicious,player friendly, tolerant and most of all knowledgable about all the concepts of the game including the energy it generates among players.Even the English batsman Atherton seems to have been a victim of poor judgement as he apparently made no verbal comments and the only crime he was guilty of was standing at the crease in disbeleif and staring at the umpire. Hardly worthy of a match suspension!. History has proved that this is a regular occurrence certainly not deserving of the severity of the punishment meted and where was Mr. Hanumant Singh when the thunderbolts of dissent,and near verbal fisticuffs echoed around heated contests between the W'Indies and Australia in the 70's and 80's amongst other notable fiery series' between England and the W'Indies etc. where according to his rule of thumb certain players should have been barred from the game.Wake up Mr.Singh!

The fines imposed on the four Sri Lankans for their,energy exuberance and appealing which is part of the game seems ludicurous as well and issued by a Match Referee overstepping his authority and if his objective was to suppress the energy generated by sheer enthusiasm on the part of the players in the hope that the quality of the game might improve, then it must be inferred that he is trying to transform the game which might as well be played between deaf mutes with impaired vision and in the same token he just might reprimand players for expressing sentiments and communicating in their native tongue on the field too, players take heed!!

This game is also a pointer towards the pluses and minuses of the Third Umpire which like the Duckworth-Lewis System seems to be an unnecessary intrusion into the game and compromises the regular umpires who for centuries managed very well without the assistance of a Third Eye ,not for Test Matches at least as it is a near impossibility to deliver a fair decision without embarassing the two standing umpires if it is contradictory

It is hoped that these pointers will help the smooth passage of the rest of the series which will be nothing but entertaining cricket devoid of placard weilding protesters who should be banned from picketing a Test Venue,uncomplimentary to the Host Country to say the least. "Sports and Politics Should not be Mixed" said a Wise Old Sage and how true he was.

A final matter of interest, the SLBCC should re-vamp their efforts to accommodate impartial umpiring by avoiding the appointment of two local umpires for a game, the definition of local incorporating a geographical boundary including a near neighbouring country, in this case India, if this is a feasible pre-condition and within ICC requirements, as the finger pointing towards umpires based on bias seems to recur on a regular basis although there seems to be little doubt about the credibility and credentials of the umpires concerned as being unquestionable in the match just concluded, but in retrospect,'Prevention Is Better Than Cure' is it not?

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