Umpire Shamshuddin is match-ready, thanks to ICC

International Cricket Council conducts online sessions with six Indian umpires to ensure they don’t lose touch in the lockdown period.

ICC panel international umpire C. Shamshuddin attending ICC online classes at home in Hyderabad.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT


Umpiring in lockdown? C. Shamshuddin is officiating as third umpire in simulated match situations online, thanks to the International Cricket Council’s effort via Skype to ensure that every umpire is ready for the job once the situation eases.

The 50-year-old umpire from Hyderabad reveals that it is an ICC umpires and coaches initiative to hold the session, along with Denis Burns who is conducting from UK with six umpires from India, including two women.

“We will have to offer judgement in very tough match situations which are played (video footage) during the hour-long training session on a one-on-one basis,” Shamshuddin says in a chat with Sportstar on Wednesday.

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Third umpires have a tough job with millions of people glued to the TV screen awaiting his decision during matches.

“The on-field umpire can make a mistake but not the TV umpire. For outsiders, a TV umpire’s job might look easy as they feel it is only about watching replays and giving the verdict. But when you are on that hot seat, with the introduction of DRS, the pressure and expectation for accuracy is a bigger challenge, sometimes even more than what an on-field umpire may face,” explains Shamshuddin, who made his international debut in 2013.

Shamshuddin’s tryst with third umpiring began in 2016. On-field umpire Paul Reiffel got injured during the India-England Test match, forcing Marais Erasmus — the third umpire — to enter the field. “And, to my surprise I was asked to be the third umpire with no experience at all with the DRS. I accepted the challenge and was happy with the way things have gone,” he recalls.

Going back to the online workshop, he says: "The main objective of the session is to improve the communication skills of the TV umpire and also to keep even the fans listening to radio commentary. They are updated at what is happening out there in the middle."

"They also conduct a weekly quiz which consists of two practical questions to be answered by all the umpires. The whole effort is to plug the loopholes, if any, to ensure that all the umpires in any given match are on the same page,” says Shamshuddin, who has officiated in close to 50 ODIS, three Test matches and 20 T20Is.

Shamshuddin also shares that the panel of four international umpires and three international match-referees from India will conduct an online quiz programme, in association with the BCCI, from May 1.

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