While the cricketers remain the center of attention for viewers in either test or one day matches, it is the umpire who plays a pivotal role in determining the flow and outcome of the match! An umpire is the only person in the field who does not make many movements during the match apart from making certain gestures. Despite the advent of technological innovations, it is hard to override the decisions taken by umpires in a cricket match- wherever it is. Have you ever thought what it takes for one to become an umpire? There is no rocket science involved in becoming an umpire.
Below listed are the nuances you should know if becoming an umpire is an aspiration you harbour.
There is no exact course to pursue or a formal qualification required for becoming an umpire. However, it is mandatory for a person to have a stint as cricketer to become an umpire. The level of experience also plays a role here. However, clearing certain tests can be mandatory for pursuing career of an umpire. This may vary from one country to another. In India, you will have to clear theory exams carried out by entities like DDCA. After that, you will have to clear bigger level exams like those conducted by BCCI. Those who play cricket at the state level and are in touch with developments at state cricket associations usually remain updated. There is no specific age limits either.
As far as qualification goes- it is not stringent. However, to become an umpire you will have to be well versed in rules of cricket. While there are 42 rules in cricket, an umpire may be required to delve into the various nuances while conducting a cricket match and take the right decision. Since an umpire has to deal with 22 players in the field, developing managerial skills is also a prerequisite for the job. Sometimes, cricketers making appeal for a wicket or out can be temperamental. The crowd may also be quite taxing on nerves at times. Even sometimes the media and press can target an umpire for controversial moves. However, as an umpire you are not supposed to lose your cool at any time. It can prove to be quite challenging at times.
How lucrative is the remuneration
The profession can be quite rewarding in terms of pay package. With time, cricket umpires are earning big bucks and veteran ones are quite wealthy too. An umpire can earn as much as INR 10000 a day and based on the number of working days per year the earning can be quite huge. Of course, in corporate and local matches the payment amount can be less. However, veteran umpires themselves say you should have another source of income besides functioning as an umpire.
The lack of any course, rule-book and courses may prove to be a wonder for many spirants. Self learning is what most umpires have to resort to. With the power bestowed upon an umpire there comes the responsibility too! If an umpire takes a wrong decision in match hard punitive actions are not taken much. However, in some cases, he may be subjected to dereliction of duty which may lead to barring from work for a couple of months.
Tips an umpire can benefit from
For an aspiring cricket umpire, it is very important to keep eyes open and look for resources to develop skills. In the absence of clear-cut guidelines, following the veterans in the sector can be a worthwhile step. Watching the famous cricket matches is no longer hard and the web is a very good resource for watching important matches where umpire decision proved to be turning points. This will help a newbie in this field to develop insight and skills.
It is better if you can interact with veteran umpires when you begin a career. Especially interacting with test cricket umpires can prove to be quite advantageous for newbie’s. The knowledge and experience shared by the veterans in umpiring is of immense value and these are hard to obtain from any resource, printed or online, as it is.
It helps if you learn how to use PR skills on and off field to excel as a cricket umpire. Dealing with players who are stressed out can be tough. An Umpire should excise the right blend of practicality and cordiality to maintain a neutral yet gentle term with players. Using sense of humor also helps in tackling hard situations on field.
As an umpire, you need to be knowledgably on a lot of aspects. Checking the ground conditions and weather is what you need to do. It also helps if you get a clear understanding of the teams you will be dealing with. Based on these assessments and preparations, you can be better prepared to deal with diverse situations in a match.