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Spare a thought for the umpires

Karthik Lakshmanan, at Cricketnext.com, gets the views of two Indian umpires on the Malinga no-ball and the broader issue of umpiring standards in Indian domestic cricket:

If this (the Malinga no-ball) had happened in the first, second or third overs of the game, I can tell you 100% surely that the umpire would have called it. The soil on the pitch becomes loose after a few overs. The line tends to go off even if it’s re-drawn. It’s too tough for the umpires to call no balls towards the end of the games. On a loose turf, when the bowler keeps landing on the pitch, the line doesn’t stay. From side view, we’ll see the line because it’s a two-dimensional image, and sometimes the lines are clearer outside the turf so the viewer thinks it’s there. There will be a parallax error.

Suresh Menon, in The Hindu, calls for the administrators to help out the umpires with technological aids:

In the ideal world, bowling a no-ball will set off either a light or a ‘ping’ sound as when a service goes over the line at Wimbledon, giving the batsman a chance to take advantage of the call. More importantly, it takes the pressure off on-field umpires who have to shift their gaze from the bowler’s foot to the batsman’s reaction all the while hoping their reflexes will not let them down if a batsman hits the ball straight at them. With the kind of bats that are in use in modern cricket, an umpire getting hit is not something anyone wants to see.

John Nicholson, at cricket365.com, urges us to be more forgiving on umpires:

It seems to me to be a peculiar furious indignation some humans have at other humans for not being cyborgs.

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On ESPNcricinfo, Sharda Ugra, celebrates a bowling match made in heaven:

Malinga’s English messages on phone are famous among his Indian friends for being monosyllabic. After many days, all that could pop up is a cryptic, “how?” (It’s the English translation of the Sinhala shorthand kohomada, how are you?) Bumrah is now well-versed in the texting code. “There is a language difference between us but we communicate, however, wherever…”

At Cricbuzz, Jon Hotten on the charm and vulnerability of the Country Cricket Championship:

Men born in the 1600s understood what a county match was and this season the first players born in the 2000s will play in it. That’s a span of five centuries, and to play in the Championship, or simply to watch it, somehow joins you to this thread of time.

Matthew Engel, at the Guardian, with a critical take on the rising trend of Kolpak-migration

As the ball-tampering bans on Smith and Warner come to an end, Geoff Lemon at ABC, pierces through the PR machinery trying to paint a redemption narrative 

Deivarayan Muthu, in ESPNcricinfo, on R Ashwin, the original Chennai Super King, returning to Chennai

On David Gower’s 62nd birthday, Wisden.com republished this Martin Johnson tribute from 1994

Waqas Ahmed with a twitter thread on Waqar Younis uprooting the woodwork

Lead image from here

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