ICC's Playing Regulations override law on substitute umpire : MCC
by Bipin Dani

Ground:Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Scorecard:India v England
Player:PR Reiffel, M Erasmus
Event:England in India 2016/17

DateLine: 10th December 2016


Mumbai, Dec. 10 : The South African substitute umpire (for injured Paul Reiffel) Marais Erasmus may have been officiating at both ends in the ongoing Mumbai Test between India and England, but the MCC's law on replaced umpire states otherwise.


"MCC can only speak for the Laws, not for the ICC’s Playing Regulations. Under Law 3.2, a replacement umpire will only stand at the bowler’s end with the consent of the captains. Otherwise, he must stand at the striker’s end", Fraser Stewart, the Cricket Academy Manager at the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), speaking exclusively, said.


MCC has been the owner of the Laws of Cricket since the 18th century.


"The ICC’s regulations probably override this but you will need to check with them or on their website", Stewart added.


On Thursday, the 51-year-old Australian umpire Reiffel, who was hit on the back of his head from a throw was cleared by the doctor, however, he has opted out for the remainder of the Test. He has preferred to watch the Test match on TV from his nearby hotel room. He may return to officiate in the final Test either as an on-field umpire or behind the TV.


The MCC's Law 3.2 (on the Change The Umpire) states that : "An umpire shall not be changed during the match, other than in exceptional circumstances, unless he is injured or ill. If there has to be a change of umpire, the replacement shall act only as striker’s end umpire unless the captains agree that he should take full responsibility as an umpire".


There have been several instances at the international level when the substitute umpire has officiated and the captains are flexible and don't object to them officiating at both ends. During India-Pakistan Test at Kolkata in 2007, Billy Doctrove (West Indies) was indisposed and the TV umpire Amiesh Saheba substituted for him and also officiated from both ends.


It will be interesting to see whether the substitute umpire's name will also figure in the official scorecard.


"There is no answer to this question from a Laws angle. The scorers or collators of records would be left to note the change however they feel to be appropriate. The Laws do not dictate what should be done", Stewart signed off.


(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2016 Bipin Dani)