Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board, in a series of experimental steps to improve its domestic structure, has enforced a new policy of grading the performance of umpires.
Following complaints of sub-standard umpiring in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final, a senior official of the board confirmed that they were already experimenting with a new grading system for umpires.
“Yes, the umpiring was not up to the mark, but we have already enforced a system where the umpires getting bad reports are having their number of matches cut, which in effect means less earning for them,” Sultan Rana, head of PCB domestic operations, said.
The final was marred by poor umpiring and players protests which saw match referee, Anwar Khan, docking both teams for slow over-rates and imposing heavy fines for misconduct, dissent and ball tampering.
Rana said the board was aware that while there was a quick appraisal system for players who were fined or banned immediately after a match for dissent or misbehavior, there was a need to have a quick response system to poor umpiring.
“We have enforced a system where umpires who get bad reports lose matches and earnings. We go by the report of the match referee and also captains.”
Rana admitted the umpiring could have been better in the final, but there was no justification for the players’ misbehaviour.
“To be honest, as a former player myself, I was totally disappointed with the behavior of the players. Even if you get a bad decision it does not mean you misbehave on the field.”
Rana said the experiment of having the final under lights with a coloured ball had been successful.
“In fact, we are not planning to definitely have more day and night matches because the eventual aim is to attract spectators to the grounds and increase interest for the fans when a first class match is played.”
Rana said that there was also a proposal to use the umpires referral system the next time the final of a major tournament is televised live in domestic cricket.
“But having the umpires referral system in domestic cricket will also depend on whether the broadcasters can provide the basic technology to make this a possibility,” he said.