Exclusive || DRS has pushed cricket umpires to enhance their potential: Pritam Narsinghani, ICC accredited umpire

As much as we all cheer for an explosive batter or a fierce bowler during a game of cricket, we cannot ignore the two constants of the game. The calm and composed demeanour, having the knowledge of a whole cricket library, standing right in the middle, with right to decide the fate the game. Umpiring, remains an elite aspect of the game but the most challenging one, even though we all have our love/hate moments with individual umpires during a certain game.

Here, we got fortunate enough to discuss the aspects of umpiring with someone who has recently acquired Umpire Accreditation from the ICC Cricket Academy, Mr. Pritam Narsinghani, who recently got candid with The Quotes and shared the aspects of the profession, inspiration and his own journey.

Q] Congratulations Sir, for completing the Umpire Accreditation from the ICC Cricket Academy. There is very less knowledge in mainstream media about how one can become a professional umpire. Kindly share your thoughts on the process which is followed and what you have learned from it.

Answer: Thanks for your best wishes. It is true that a common cricket follower does not know much about umpiring aspect of the game, but those who are associated with the game and know more than a layman respect the profession. An umpire is equally passionate about the game as much as a player.

For being an umpire, an individual needs lots of discipline, composure and professionalism of the highest degree. The same process needs to be followed for being an umpire as that of a player. An aspirant must enrol in local academy, and club to understand the rules and regulations better. You can follow the link to get a more comprehensive idea [https://www.iccacademy.com/education].

Q] How challenging was the process and what kept you motivated throughout?

A) Well, the first and foremost challenge is to believe in yourself. Once you’ve achieved that things automatically fall in place. Just like anything else, it took time to understand every rule and regulation. There are such minute details in the game which no one understands while watching the game, but I understood while I was pursuing my accreditation. I have always been passionate about the game due to which I wanted to stay associated with the game in any aspect.

Q] We have learned that you are now seeking to take on the Umpire Accreditation Level 1 course. Kindly explain the different levels a person needs to go through to qualify for becoming an umpire on an international stage.

A) There are following courses;

a) Introduction to Cricket Umpiring Accreditation Course:
It is the first step in the ICC Academy Umpire Accreditation pathway aimed at clearly outlining the functions and expectations of the role of the umpire. The course will better equip and prepare new cricket umpires for the challenges they face in terms of managing the match, making decisions, and applying the Laws of Cricket. The purpose of the qualification is to officiate competently at the community, junior, and school levels of the game.

b) Level 1 – Cricket Umpire Accreditation Course:
This is aimed to build on the foundations of the Introduction to Umpiring accreditation. The course helps to better equip and prepare cricket umpires for the challenges they might face. The purpose of the qualification is to officiate competently at the Premier Cricket Level.

c) Level 2 – Cricket Umpire Accreditation Course:
This course builds on the foundations of the Level 1 Cricket Umpire Accreditation Course. The course will better equip and prepare experienced cricket umpires for the challenges they face in terms of the soft skills of officiating, making decisions with higher levels of scrutiny, and applying technology. The purpose of the qualification is to officiate competently at the State and National Representative levels of the game.

Q] Introduction of DRS has often questioned the umpire’s ability to judge the game. A lot of umpire’s decisions were overturned during the recently concluded IPL 2022. Do you think the technology might hamper the profession as it guarantees better accuracy?

A) I don’t think so, every technology has its pros and cons, one needs to see if pros outweigh the cons. Lot of research and experiments have been done by experienced professionals prior to introduction of DRS. Some odd decisions here and there should not raise a question on such an elite aspect of the game. In fact, it provides better understanding and learning to all the umpires and they all come better prepared, next time.

Q] Your LinkedIn profile shows that you were associated with the aviation business. What inspired and motivated you to move towards the sports.

A) I have been a die-hard cricket fan since my childhood. I used to play cricket till the age of 45, but then I was unable to play due to time. So, to keep my passion alive and be in the game I started searching for the umpiring courses but none were available in UAE and I did not have enough time to go outside UAE. Then Covid hit the world, so to live my passion I took an early retirement so that post Covid I can go to England and do the Umpiring course, but luck favoured me and ICC Academy started the course in Dubai. Hence, I am in my journey to be an umpire of an international game one day.

Q] An umpire plays a crucial role as any player. Do you believe umpires are yet to get due recognition? Who is your favourite umpire of all time and your role model?

A) If you compare Cricket with other sports, the umpires are being recognised and getting their dues. I love all the Umpires however my all-time favourite has been Harold Dennis “Dickie” Bird. My recent favourite is Simon Taufel.

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