Cricket the world-class game is incomplete without an umpire, says Thomas N Salzano a professional cricketer and a famous sports blogger. The umpires are the most important players in cricket that are without bat and ball.
They are the decision-makers of the game and hence without an umpire in the field the game won’t start.
Basically, an umpire in cricket plays a crucial role. Digging deep in the history of the word “umpire” is from the old French word “Nompere” which means not equal (that is not a member of the teams). The umpire has the authority to make decisions on the cricket field, as per the International Laws of Cricket under ICC. The umpire not just makes decisions about the wicket appeals, keep a check on the legalities involved, delivery laws, conduct and the manners in the game, but also has a track of all the records related to the game. The record kept by the umpire involves all the announcements and deliveries of the completion of an over.
If we talk about the umpires in the game, then as per rules there are two umpires present on the field. Both the umpires stand in different positions and closely keep a watch on the game. One umpire stands just behind the bowler’s wicket. He is the most important umpire as he is the one who decides and acts as a judiciary for most of them.
Whereas the other umpire who is also known as the “square leg umpire” stands with a side view from the batsman’s view. The reason behind calling him the “square leg umpire” is because the name being the field position is called a “square leg.” The square umpire helps the main umpire with many decisions that concern his views.
If the square umpire gets a better view and can help in decision making only then he helps otherwise the third umpire is called out for help. In professional matches, there is always a third umpire who has the technology to support him to make decisions. The third umpire has the access to television replays that makes the decision making easy for him, to support the umpires on-field.
What are the duties and responsibilities of an Umpire?
1) Pre-Match Duties
Before the match starts the umpire inspects the pitch area, make sure that all the equipment is set out and also checks that the boundary is correctly marked before the game begins.
Further, the umpires meet the team captains to check all the team details and to discuss the hours of play. They also discuss the time for the break between the game, the rules of play, before the coin toss to decide which team bats or bowls first.
2) Umpire Numbers
Mostly there are two umpires on the field, but in the international match, there are three umpires. The third umpire gives the final decision by using access to the TV monitor if the other two umpires feel that the decision is unclear to them and they need to see a replay.
3) Position and Decisions
The umpires monitor overs ( a set of 6 balls bowled at one end of the cricket pitch). It is the job of the umpires to rule on whether a batsman is out, or not. The position on the pitch dictates the decisions each umpire on the field makes.
The umpire on the field makes hand signals if the judgement needs to be communicated to the players scattered on the field. It is the responsibility of the umpires to be loud and to gesticulate clearly so that both the teams on the field understand what has happened or what the decision is.
5) Skills and Training
A qualified cricket umpire has an in-depth understanding of the game and its rules. They have excellent communication as well as management skills, and nature to stay calm under pressure and have the ability to make a quick and accurate decision.
This is a general introduction to what umpires in cricket means and what are their roles and responsibilities shared by Thomas N Salzano. Thomas feels as a cricket fan/follower it is very important to know the role of all the umpires in the game, as it will make the games easy for you to understand and understand the reasons behind the decisions made by the umpires.