Only three out of 140 aspirants managed to pass the Level 2 umpiring tests conducted by the Board of Control for Cricket In India (BCCI), as reported by The Indian Express. The successful candidates will now be eligible to officiate in Group D women’s and junior matches. 

Concerned with the falling standards of umpiring in the country, the board decided to conduct a test, where mind-altering questions based on the live-game situation were asked. While most did well well in practical and fitness tests, an overwhelming majority of them failed to clear the written round.

“Umpiring is a tough job. Only those who have the passion for it can really excel. The candidates sent by state associations weren’t upto the mark. They need to have this knowledge if they want to do board games,” said a BCCI official to Indian Express.

Of late, there has been a steep decline in the number of elite umpires from the country. There have been numerous eye-raising decisions in important matches, including the knock-out stages of theIndian Premier League.

“What is happening with the umpiring @IPL, it’s quite pathetic and small bad decisions lead to big outcomes! Wake up and put some people who actually can be a ref!” wrote former India cricketer Kris Srikkanth on Twitter.

Let’s take a look at some of the puzzling questions that stumped the aspiring umpires:

What will you do if the shadow of stadium infrastructure, players, and trees comes in the sight of the batter?

Ans: The shadow of trees or pavilion shouldn’t be taken into consideration, but if the batter complains about the fielder’s shadow, then the umpire has to ensure that the fielder remains stationary till the ball has been played.

Without bouncing off, the ball gets stuck in the fielder’s helmet while he is stationed at the short leg. The helmet falls down due to the impact, but the ball is still trapped there. The fielder then plucks out the ball before it touches the ground. What Will be your decision?

Ans: It should be deemed not out.

How many runs will be awarded to the batting side if the fielder kicks off the ball to the boundary after the batter has already completed two runs?

Ans: Six runs.

The purpose of asking such questions was to test if the umpire is able to put his theoretical knowledge of the Law of the Game into practice. Ratnakar Shetty, the former BCCI development manager, stressed the need for educational programs to develop world-class umpires.

“BCCI must restart educational programs for budding umpires in each state association. In 2006, the BCCI identified a group of retired first-class umpires and trained them to be educators. We used to depute two educators to each state unit, other than Mumbai, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu where regular umpire coaching happens,” Shetty was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

Lead Image: BCCI/Twitter