In the second Test match of the ongoing series against England at Trent Bridge, Sachin Tendulkar was adjudged lbw by Simon Taufel even as the ball appeared to go well over the stumps while Sourav Ganguly was twice at the receiving end from Ian Howell. In the second one-day international at Bristol on Friday, Sachin was given out caught behind to Andrew Flintoff when the ball seemingly had only flicked the inside of his elbow.
Admittedly, cricket is “a game of glorious uncertainties”, and the fact that even the world’s best umpire can make mistakes—Taufel says he knew he was wrong the moment he saw the Sachin replay—is proof that human frailty can be, should be, one of them. But with so many mistakes now dotting the landscape, hampering individuals and teams, the question is: has the whole concept of an ICC elite panel of umpires become a joke?
Questions: Is India in particular being targetted by poor umpiring or is it just one of those things? Should we crib about lousy decisions or should we accept them in our stride as part of the game because, after all, it is just a game? Is there any better option available to ensure better umpiring? And, please will somebody reassure us that it is just a coincidence that India gets the rough end of the stick when Sri Lankan umpires (Ashoka de Silva) and referees (Roshan Mahanama) are in the middle?