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Cricket umpires play a pivotal role in reducing tension and sledging
Of late, sledging has become a very common phenomenon in a cricket field. This has got a much deeper impact, particularly in Test matches as the duration of the game runs upto five days. Even though sledging is widely spread in the shorter version of the game too, but given the pace of the quick fire game play, the impact of sledging itself gets reduced and its intensity settles down quickly.
Whatever little anger remains, normally the players do not carry it to the next game, because in ODIs or T20s the thrust is given on chalking out the strategy for the next encounter.

Also, in the shorter version of the game, the batsman switch over the strike more frequently, thus the chances of a particular batsman facing any individual bowler are remote. Also, the momentum in the shorter version is very fast and the bowler has got to bowl just a limited over spell, thus the chances of serious confrontations become negligible.

Overall, the stress of a batsman does not last long as he has to face any bowler for a just few overs and the pressure to perform is a little less. In this situation, the rift does not last long and tension among batsmen and bowler hardly gets out of control.

But in any case, there is an urgent need to check this growing tendency to provoke the batsman through every fair or unfair means. Reacting to a big hit by the batsman with some kind of anger filled expression is pardonable, but indulging in verbal abuse attacking the dignity of a batsman should not be tolerated at any cost. The captains have got a very in important role to play. They can defuse the tension by remaining fair and by analyzing the behaviour of both the parties.

But the most crucial role lies with the umpire. By managing his powers in a transparent and judicious manner, he is supposed to promptly take a just and valid stand. He has to be firm and instantly warn the player crossing the line. Had the umpires done the same, the situation would not have gone out of control in the Jadeja-Anderson spat. The casual approach of the umpire of not using their powers has led to the deterioration of the situation.

There is also another vital issue of the attitude of non Asian players against Asian players. It is a well known fact that most incidents of sledging are seen during the Ashes between England and Australia, where their respective media also contribute a lot. But they do not carry such incidents too far and maintain cordial relations. But against India, Pakistan or Sri Lanka, the team management, the media, supporters and the administrators adopt all fair or unfair means to demoralize the players and the whole opponent team.

Thus, this appears to be high time that BCCI should take initiatives to amend the rules so as to prevent harassment by a few nations. The match umpires need to strictly impose their supremacy on the game and warn the players there and then. They need to make sure that no one crosses the line.

They need to give strict remarks in their match report and the match referees need to impose hefty fines and ban players. If these steps are not taken, the gentleman's game will lose its image and interest levels will reduce. Umpires' powers need to be strengthened if this issue has to be solved. The players should be kept within control.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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