What we rant about when we rant about umpiring

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What we rant about when we rant about umpiring

In the latest episode of the podcast we chat about the challenge of being a modern umpire – and how excess scrutiny and knee-jerk reactions from pundits have combined to create a toxic environment.

Talking Points:

  • The challenge for modern umpires – with ball-by-ball social media scrutiny
  • How TV replays can fool us into thinking that umpiring is an easy task
  • Has DRS accelerated the erosion of the umpire’s authority?
  • The frequent grumbling around the soft-signal  – is it even needed?
  • The issue with Sachin Tendulkar’s reservation about umpire’s call
  • The value of umpiring judgement, and why the on-field umpire’s decision is vital
  • Ben Stokes’ misunderstanding of the soft-signal
  • Do umpires’ performance change based on the match situation?
  • Will cricket go the way of American football with video replays?


Siddhartha Vaidyanathan (@sidvee)

Kartikeya Date (@cricketingview) | Cricketingview Substack

Ashoka (@ABVan)

Mahesh Sethuraman (@cornerd)


Buy War Minus the Shooting | Buy Cricket Beyond the Bazaar


  • Why Does The Umpire Get To Decide? – Kartikeya Date – Cricketingview
  • Television killed the umpiring star – Kartikeya Date – The Cricket Monthly
  • On Umpire’s Call – Kartikeya Date – Cricketingview
  • The new lbw rule in DRS – Kartikeya Date – Cricketingview
  • A Conversation with Warren Brennan About Hotspot, RTS and other Technology in Cricket – Cricketingview podcast
  • The DRS and Technology in Cricket – Channel 7 video
  • Accepting the umpire’s decision has become a date concept – Gideon Haigh – Twitter
  • Simon Taufel podcast – Subash Jayaraman – Couchtalk


Lead image from here.

4 thoughts on “What we rant about when we rant about umpiring”

  1. This was one episode that I expected to be an easy going episode where everyone will agree with everyone and will talk on behalf of the umpires. But this turned out to be Roadies auditions episode 😀

    I think the technology (and DRS) is introduced in cricket to minimize the human mistakes. And speeding up the game is perhaps not the objective. So I find it a bit odd when TV commentators talk about the decisions taking a lot of time and it impacting the viewers. (Yes, the bowling rate should be bettered so that the spectators can go home on time.)

    And I think wherever technology is present, the umpires should take its help. One example is when in the 2019 WC final, they could have checked with the umpire about the overthrow (5 runs or 6 runs) and who should have been on the strike. It would have taken 15 seconds and who knows there’d have a different winner. Other than that, the umpires did fairly well in that match despite what Indian fans say on social media all day 😀

    I also feel that the umpire’s call (in LBWs) should remain as it provides a human perspective to the 50-50 dismissal, which is not exactly a howler.

    The thing with SV Jayaprakash and SK Bansal favoring Indian bowling sides is a nice, cute allegation because they both gave the verdicts within 0.5-1.5 seconds. And as was discussed in the episode, apart from perhaps Afridi dismissal (in the Delhi Test), all other were fair dismissals.

    Reg the talk that umpires give a slight advantage to the teams who have exhausted their reviews: I think there may be some merit (but no base) in this school of thought. And it’s good that it was covered in this episode.

    1. Haha – Roadies audition! Great point about AVJ and Bansal giving quick decisions. Amazing how that sticks in the head. The other extreme was of course Steve Bucknor. And that also sticks in the head!

  2. Just finished this episode, such a great conversation, umpries are easy target, as an audience, momentary anger is expressed right away on social media, probably most of those people who write these things would not have the same opinion 24 hours later.

    Also completely agree that ex-cricketers and pundits add to the complications. recently Steve Harmison went on to say on Talksport that Kumara Dharmasena is the worst umpire in the world and succumbs to the pressure of BCCI and hence decisions went against England.

    Even someone like Gideon Haigh, on his podcast last year during ashes made this comment ‘that Indian umpire Nitin Menon never fills me with confidence’ directly implying that he is incompetent and his Indianness probably has something to do with it. if it were not for him, I would have thought this comment as racist comment, but it probably he meant something else, though again this implies that even people like him do not trust umpires and that is where the narrative is created.

    1. Thanks Tarun. It is reaching a dangerous situation with regard to umpires. There are some soccer leagues where umpires have been physically attacked because the crowds assume a bias. The cricket discourse on social media and commentary is setting itself up for such appalling violence.

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