Karachi, Oct 11: Umpiring has become a matter of concern for the Pakistan Cricket Board as there is increasing complains of substandard umpiring in the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.
After the first round of the country's premier grade one and two matches were completed, the Karachi City Cricket Association, the PCB's biggest affiliated unit lodged an official complaint with the the Board over the umpiring in their match.
The KCCA Blues team lost to a lowly ranked State Bank in the first round with as many as eleven leg before wicket decisions going against them while their bowlers won only two LBW decisions.
“Yes we have lodged an official protest and sent letters to the PCB officials about the substandard umpiring and have also demanded that one of the umpire's involved in our match in the first round should not be posted again for our remaining matches,” KCCA President, Siraj-ul-Islam Bukhari said.
Bukhari, a seasoned administrator who has held senior positions in the KCCA since last 33 years, hoped the board would take notice of their complaint as the umpiring standards were below par.
“Getting eleven LBW in one match, including seven in one innings, is hard to accept especially when you consider only two batsmen of the other team were given out leg before,” he said.
The PCB is unlikely to take the KCCA complaint seriously as the two have had a stormy relationship since last few months with the board also suspending the KCCA secretary, Ejaz Farooqi for violating the code of conduct.
Interestingly, the defending champions -- Habib Bank – also voiced concerns over the umpiring standards during their first round defeat to regional side Sialkot.
The star studded bankers were stunned by Sialkot despite test leg spinner Danish Kaneria taking six wickets in one innings.
“The standard of umpiring was below par and the board should take urgent notice because this tournament has only started now and careers and jobs of players are at stake,” a team official said.
Meanwhile, Test umpire Aleem Dar who recently won the ICC umpire of the year award for the third successive year last month, urged the PCB to award central contracts to top umpires in the domestic circuit.
“I think the umpires deserve to get central contracts so that they are financially secure even in the off-season. I have given a proposal to the board and also tried to meet with the PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt but he has been very busy,” said Dar.
He also said that when players could be given central contracts, the board should also have a similar contractual system for the leading umpires as it would encourage them to work harder on their umpiring.