Umpiring blemishes mar Australian Day celebration

Read the article of Umpiring blemishes mar Australian Day celebration - Benson & Hedges World Series Cup one-day international tournament of the 11th ODI match played between India and Australia at Adelaide Oval in 26th January 1986.

Exasperated Indian officials are planning another protest to the Australian Cricket Board about the poor standard of umpiring they have encountered this season.

The Indian team manager, Mr Srinivas Venkataraghavan, was strong in his criticism of umpires Ray Isherwood and Peter McConnell after Australia qualified for next month's finals of the World Series Cup by defeating India by 36 runs at Adelaide Oval.

It is the second time in a month that the Indians have publicly condemned umpiring performances and questioned the competence and professionalism of members of Australia's international panel.

The Indian captain, Kapil Dev, made a scathing attack on Isherwood and Dick French after the second Test with Australia in Melbourne last month. Isherwood also was the central character in today's drama when he adjudged exciting young Australian batsman Stephen Waugh had made his ground safely for his fourth run.

Television replays showed that Waugh was short of his ground, beaten by a beautifully controlled bounced return from Mohinder Amarnath behind point to keeper Kiran More. Waugh, also dropped at 11 by Raju Kulkarni at short mid-on to a disbelieving Chetan Sharma, then happily progressed to 81 from 75 balls, and with Greg Matthews enabled Australia to score a substantial 262 161 off the last 20 overs.

McConnell also incurred the wrath of the Indians when he allowed Greg Ritchie to continue his innings, albeit briefly, when he had reached 28.
Again, TV replays indicated that Sunil Gavaskar's return from mid-wicket to the bowler, Sharma, had found Ritchie short of his ground, Ritchie did not prosper, being run out in the same over.

Mr Venkataraghavan said the team was trying to remain calm and was not as upset as it was in Melbourne. He made it quite clear, however, that the team would object to the appointment of Isherwood to the finals if, indeed, India can qualify ahead of New Zealand.

If New Zealand suddenly regain form and defeat Australia today they will again move one point ahead of India in the fascinating fight to meet the strong and confident Australians, who now have an impressive 11 points from seven outings.

India have six points and New Zealand five.
Mr Venkataraghavan said he almost certainly would lodge an official protest about the umpiring should India reach the finals. He decided against a formal complaint after the Melbourne kerfuffle, but it is known that he has had private talks with Australian Cricket Board chiefs.

Upset that the board did not submit a list of the umpires and their appointments at the start of the tour, Mr Venkataraghavan is thought to have asked the ACB to avoid appointing Isherwood to further games involving India.

The board's umpiring executive had no intention of acceding to such a request and Isherwood also stood in India's WSC match with New Zealand in Perth last week- end. "The umpiring has not been up to the top quality you expect, especially in the needle finish of crucial one-day matches," Mr Venkataraghavan said.

"They [the umpires] have to concentrate much more and I'm sure they are aware that one decision can make or mar a game. They'll have to be more profes- sional." Mr Venkataraghavan said he acknowledged the intense pressure to which the umpires were subjected, particularly for long periods in searing heat - it was at least 35 degrees in the middle - but called on them to be "extra sharp" when it mattered most.

Waugh, who has progressed spectacularly since this limited-over series began, and Matthews added 92 from 74 balls for the fifth wicket to ensure that Australia would reach the sort of total required on this ground with such short square boundaries.

Wayne Phillips, as only he can, then provided the perfect complement by taking 23 with three fours and a six from just eight balls. While the Australians temporarily lost their way after another useful opening stand by David Boon and Geoff Marsh - 50 from 12.1 overs - they played spectacularly from 3-83 after 25 overs.

A splendid fifth-wicket stand of 97 from 105 balls by Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri buoyed the Indians, who had been most subdued at 4-75 in the 20th over. Indeed, after 30 overs, India had scored 133 - 32 more than Australia - and a significant victory seemed within their reach.

When Shastri (55 from 62 balls) and Gavaskar (77 from 110 deliveries with four boundaries and a six) departed within 10 runs they lost their impetus. Bruce Reid ensured they did not claw their way back into the match when he removed Sharma and Kapil in successive balls.

Reid, whom Border considers the find of the summer, finished with 5-53 and won the Man-of-the-Match award - his first trophy at this level of the game.