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Bullet stuck in the helmet, is it a problem? 3 out of 140 BCCI referee tests passed

? What will you do if the shadow of a clubhouse, tree or defender starts falling on the pitch and the batsman complains?

? You are convinced that a player has a real wound on the index finger of his bowling hand and removing the tape will cause bleeding. Will you always ask him to remove the protective tape while bowling?

? The striker hits a good pitch, which lodges in the helmet of the short-leg outfielder. Due to the impact, the helmet detaches from the defensive player’s head and the ball is still stuck in the helmet. The helmet falls…and the defender catches it before it falls to the ground. On appeal, what is your decision?

These are examples of the baffling 37 questions candidates had to solve to pass the Indian Cricket Council Level 2 exam for umpires, held last month in Ahmedabad. Passing the exam makes them eligible to officiate Group D-ranked women’s and junior matches – the first step in training an Elite BCCI referee who can appear in international matches.

Only three of the 140 contenders were selected.

The threshold was 90 points out of 200 (100 for the written test, 35 for the defense and the video, and 30 for the physical). It was for the first time since the pandemic that the board included physical testing, meeting the increasing physical demands of officiating. The video test included match footage and questions on refereeing in specific situations.

Most did well in the practicals, but the written test was too big an obstacle for them.

A BCCI official said The Indian Express that the bar was set high to ensure that only the best qualified and progressed through the system. “Officiating is hard work. Only those who have a passion for it can truly excel. The candidates sent by the state associations were not up to scratch. They must have this knowledge if they want to play board games,” he said.

Now consider the answers to these three questions:

? The shadow of the pavilion or tree should be ignored. Defensive players must be instructed to stand still, otherwise the umpire must call a dead ball.

? The bowler must remove the bandage if he wants to bowl.

? The right decision is “Not Out”.

According to the board official, the exam was not just focused on laws and regulations, but on interpretation and implementation in a live game situation, testing practical reasoning rather than on theoretical knowledge.

The review is part of measures taken by the board to raise the standard of Indian referees after repeated complaints about their poor standing in the domestic circuit. Last year’s IPL was filled with screams from Indian referees, which came under heavy criticism from former players.

“What is happening with @IPL refereeing is quite pathetic and small bad decisions lead to big results! Wake up and put people in who can actually be a referee! wrote former India captain and fly-half Kris Srikkanth on Twitter.

None of these decisions were as egregious as an lbw decision involving Virat Kohli bowling Dewald Brevis in a high octane match between the Royal Challengers bangalore and Bombay Indians. The ball appeared to hit Kohli’s bat and pad simultaneously, but the on-court referee kicked it out. Kohli asked for the DRS but the third referee backed his colleague’s decision, much to the player’s chagrin.

A day after the game, the RCB Twitter account published the relevant MCC law: “If the ball comes into contact with the person and the striker’s stick simultaneously, it will be considered the ball having touched the stick first. .

BCCI alum and former head of game development Ratnakar Shetty says there needs to be a system in place.

“BCCI needs to restart educational programs for aspiring umpires in every state association. By 2006, the BCCI had identified a group of retired first-class referees and trained them to become educators. We used to send two trainers to each state unit except for Mumbai, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu where regular referee training takes place,” Shetty said.

“State units had to select 30 candidates and an eight-day course was organized followed by theoretical and practical exams. Those who passed these exams were selected for level 2. Unfortunately in the last two or three years nothing has happened due to Covid. I am sure that the BCCI will take steps to train future referees,” he said.

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Last month the board came up with a grading system for referees – from A-plus to D, similar to the contract system for players. Although India is the premier cricketing force in the world, it has not produced quality umpires commensurate with population, popularity or board power.

Nitin Menon, who is on the current panel and currently officiates England vs South Africa Test, was only the third Indian in the group after Srinivasa Venkataraghavan and Sundaram Ravi. The board is now serious about producing more world-class Indian referees – as the Tier 2 review showed.

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