Siva suggests on-field role for third umpire

Says, apart from spotting no-balls, he can keep a watch on ball tampering.

Laxman Sivaramakrishnan advocates trousers without pockets for cricketers so that it would be difficult to conceal any object.   -  V. GANESAN

Laxman Sivaramakrishnan believes drastic measures are needed to curb the menace of ball tampering. Among them is the need for the third umpire to be present on the ground.

Siva, a former member of the ICC Cricket Committee, told Sportstar on Tuesday, “There is a school of thought that the third umpire should stand in line with the popping crease so that he can spot foot-fault no-balls. Presently, the bowlers are checked for no-balls using television replays only in the event of dismissals. But what about no-balls on the other occasions that are not seen by the on-field umpires.”

The leg-spinner noted, “The same third umpire should also be given the job of following the ball on the ground as it is tossed from fielder to fielder and look for any possible mischief.”

Quality enhancement

Siva elaborated, “This will not only curb instances of ball tampering, improve the calling of no-balls but also enhance the quality of umpiring since the umpire can now completely focus on the ball and the batsman instead of looking at the feet of the bowler as he delivers and then switch his attention to the ball.” And the fourth umpire can act as the television umpire, according to Siva.

“If you are looking at cricket’s future, the third umpire has to play an important on-field role.”

While there has been much sympathy from many cricketers for Steve Smith and David Warner after the two Aussies were banned for a year, Siva was in favour of stricter sanctions.

“We need to make ball tampering a level IV offence, from the level II it is now.”

Siva also advocates trousers without pockets for cricketers so that it would be difficult to conceal any object. This will not only curb instances of ball tampering, improve the calling of no-balls but also enhance the quality of umpiring.

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