Cricket is a game played between two teams of 11 players each with two on-field umpires, one third umpire, a match referee and a scorer. Wait! What? Did I mention scorer? With the advancement of technology, live telecast and online reporting, does anyone even remember that there is a scorer who is active than all other players actually playing in the match? A scorer who is manually writing ball-by-ball details with utmost accuracy.
If not, let us go back to the India’s tour of Pakistan in 2004. In one of the matches of ODI series, there was a digital scoring issue as the scoreboard showed Pakistani Skipper on 99 and Inzamam-ul-Haq raised his bat thinking he had completed his century. With such a flaw coming out in a high profile international encounter, it is safe to assume that such mistakes might be a regular occurrence in domestic and local matches.
To err is human. But to what extent it is acceptable and how does it affect the match? What it takes to become a scorer? Is it a full time career option?
Let’s get to know more about the art of scoring from the best person available in our country, Mr. N.K Lakhotia, BCCI & International Scorer for past 35 years, ex DDCA Umpire and current member and the senior most trainer and advisor for upcoming umpires and scorers. Let see what he has to say on various aspects of scoring and umpiring in cricket:
On Importance of Scoring
Scoring is a very technical thing in cricket. Scorer has to be very alert during any point in the match. He needs to watch every single ball, coordinate with umpire constantly. One ball missed and the entire accuracy is affected. A scorer should never be influenced by the players or otherwise. He should only take Umpire’s call. It’s very important for him to stay calm and focussed.
How to become a Cricket Scorer?
Every year, DDCA conducts training sessions for upcoming scorers in the off season. The sessions are conducted right from the beginning. Then the candidates go through a theoretical and practical examination before finally getting a certificate and clearance to officiate in matches.
Remuneration to Umpires & Scorers
At a junior/local level, compensation is not very high. Also the gap between an Umpire’s remuneration and that of scorer’s is wide. Recently I had a word with BCCI technical committee chairman, Sourav Ganguly and after some discussion, a hike was given to both Umpires and Scorers at IPL and local level.
Manual or Digital scoring?
Manual scoring is a must. Even in international matches, scoring is done in the same fashion as done in a local match and that supersedes all digital systems in case of a doubt. A referee will never consider a television scoring above the manual scoring.
On Coaching Levels in India
At the BCCI level, there exist three levels of coaching, 3 being the highest. Even if someone has attained a highest level in another country, he still needs to clear at least one level with BCCI. In Delhi there are only 2 BCCI Level 3 Cricket Coaches: Mr. Sanjay Bhardwaaj & Mr. Hitesh Sharma.
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