I refer to a letter written in your newspaper on September 8, 2017 by Robin Singh captioned ‘Umpire’s behaviour was completely misguided’. In this circumstance the writer was the one misguided and this presents an opportunity for the education of the cricketing public so that they too would not be misguided.
The Laws of Cricket by which the game is governed, in association with the relevant regulations for each particular format of the game dictate how the game is played, and it is to these laws that reference is made for clarification.
Law 42 – Fair and Unfair Play
Section 11 refers to damaging the pitch and the area to be protected:
“It is incumbent on all players to avoid unnecessary damage to the pitch. A player will be deemed to be causing avoidable damage if either umpire considered that his presence on the pitch is without reasonable cause”. It goes on to define that area of the pitch referred to as the protected area.
This law then goes on to speak to what happens if the bowler runs on the protected area after delivering the ball (42:12), if the fielder damages this protected area of the pitch (42:13) and 42:14 which speaks to batsmen running on the protected area.
In this game the batsmen and in particular one batsman was repeatedly cautioned and subsequently given a first and final warning as required by the law. The law goes on to say, “the umpire shall so inform each incoming batsman”. With the first and final warning issued it was incumbent on the umpires to inform each incoming batsman of the warning that was in effect for his team. This is what occurred in this game, so the umpire was discharging his duty as required.
It is unfortunate that the writer should suggest that two batsmen fell to first-ball deliveries as a result of the umpire informing them as required, and he did not recognize or give credit to the bowler for his ability and execution of his art of bowling. It is noteworthy that all other incoming batsmen were informed just as those two were, and were able to negotiate the same bowler without losing their wickets to him. The writer should have given the bowler credit and researched the facts before judging those who carry out their tasks as required.
Umpires are already subjected to the scrutiny of technology in a game that gives them very limited time to make decisions, and therefore do not need unwarranted and misleading attacks on their characters.
(Name and address provided)