The ICC Regional Umpires Workshop of Asia to be hosted by Sri Lanka commencing on Thursday, September 21 will be of tremendous importance to Sri Lanka and the regional countries in updating their knowledge. It is being prioritised so as to raise their knowledge in conformity to international level in view of the new change of laws in playing conditions that will come in to effect from October 1.
The 2-day workshop to be conducted by ICC accredited Peter Manuel from Sri Lanka and David Levens from England, will be attended by the three Sri Lankan ICC accredited international umpires namely Ruchira Palliyaguru, Ranmore Martinez and Ravindra Wimalasiri. One each from Bangladesh and Pakistan and an ICC manager umpire will be in attendance. Sri Lanka will be represented by Asoka De Silva as manager umpire as well as six more umpires.
Commenting on the workshop, De Silva, a former international umpire, observed that it held out a special significance to Sri Lanka where such a regional workshop would be held for the first time. “It has been an ongoing process and journeys to Sri Lanka for the first time, and will be very useful for the ICC accredited local umpires in sharpening their skills. In many ways it is timely for Sri Lankan umpiring talent at international level with several changes that the ICC has introduced with effect from October 1,” said Silva also an umpire coach.
As it is, the country by country regional umpires workshop in Sri Lanka cannot be more timely with the ICC Cricket Committee’s unanimous adoption of proposals for tough rule changes include giving umpires the power to send off players summarily for the most serious incidents of player misconduct, including violence. All other offences would continue to be dealt with under the ICC Code of Conduct.
The International Cricket Council’s green light to new tight cricket rules will also ensure that teams will no longer lose a review under the Decision Review System (DRS) if a leg before referral returns as ‘Umpires Call’, part of a range of changes recommended by its Cricket Committee. The final approval to the rule changes came from the ICC Chief Executives Committee. This was on recommendations made by a panel headed by India’s Anil Kumble this week. The decisions include the use of DRS in all T20 Internationals. With the tweak in the DRS rule on umpires call, the current rule allowing the top-up of reviews after 80 overs in Tests has been removed. The minimum standards for DRS use would include the mandatory use of accredited ball tracking and edge detection technology.
Other major rule changes are restriction on bat dimensions (thickness of edges and depth of bat), and that a batsman will have made his or her ground when a bat bounces after being grounded behind the crease by a running or diving batsman. Currently the batsman will be ruled out if the bat is not grounded when the stumps are disturbed.
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-