How to become a cricket umpire? A Detailed Guide for Beginners

The role of umpires is often overlooked in cricket. Honestly, to become a cricket umpire, you should require high skills that can prove to be physically challenging.

Typically, a cricket umpire is a ground official who makes decisions both on and off the field. An umpire must ensure fair play on the ground, supervise on-ground equipment and observe if all players follow the game’s rules.

Additionally, an umpire assesses the ground conditions before the match commences, checks the condition of the ball and replaces it during the play.

Though the umpire’s decision is final, sometimes mistakes can happen. The off-field umpires, also known as third umpires review the decisions when the players challenge the on-field umpire’s decision.

You might be uncertain about whether to register for any courses or undergo training to obtain certification in the art of umpiring.

Before knowing the step-by-step procedure on how to become a cricket umpire, you need to be aware of the educational qualifications required, roles and responsibilities as well as the pros and cons of the job. Also, you should understand the important skills required to become an umpire in cricket.

Educational Qualifications to Become a Cricket Umpire?

There aren’t any specific qualifications required to become a cricket umpire. However, you should be able to read and write English to understand the significant rules of cricket. Mainly, you should be able to communicate in English to ensure a long run as an international umpire in cricket.

Also, you need to qualify for the theoretical exam by knowing every law of cricket in detail. It is the first and basic round you should qualify to progress into the next rounds which include practical assessments and oral quizzes.

Moreover, the state board organizations such as the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) or the Delhi and District Cricket Association conduct theoretical examinations for umpires.

Is there any specific course to master the art of cricket umpiring?

As a cricket umpire, you need to have more practical experience when compared to theoretical knowledge.

Every nation conducts theoretical classes on the rules of cricket on a short-term basis that are established by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in London. You need to become a member of the state or nation’s cricket association and enrol in the cricket academy.

Is it crucial to undergo training sessions to become a cricket umpire?

In India, the BCCI Umpire Academy provides crucial training to umpires. Furthermore, the BCCI sponsors talented umpires to qualify for the ICC’s criteria as international umpires.

Certification to become a cricket umpire

Every cricket board nation provides certification that can help you to become a qualified cricket umpire. For instance, the BCCI certifies individuals as skilled cricket umpires. Initially, umpires are assessed to handle cricket tournaments at domestic and national levels. It includes the Indian Premier League (IPL), Ranji Trophy, Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and many more…

But, it is the ICC that certifies umpires for international tournaments such as:

  • ICC World Cup
  • Asia Cup
  • ICC Champions Trophy
  • The Ashes
  • ICC T20 World Cup
  • Bilateral series
  • Trilateral series
  • And many more…

Roles and Responsibilities of an umpire in cricket

The roles and responsibilities vary for a bowler’s end umpire, square leg and third umpire:

Bowler’s End Umpire:

  • Observe if the bowler’s foot crosses the crease for a no-ball.
  • Make sure about the dismissals of LBW, caught behind and run out from the bowler’s or non-striker’s end.
  • Indicate runs scored through boundaries, overthrows, byes and leg-byes.
  • Declare out, no-balls, wide, bouncers, free hits, penalties, powerplays, and strategic timeouts.

Square Leg Umpire:

  • Denote bouncers and full toss as well as no-balls. Before indicating, a square leg umpire must consult with the bowler’s end umpire for LBWs.
  • Verify heights for no-balls, run-out from the striker’s end and stump out. If required, a third umpire can be referred for challenging decisions.

Third Umpire:

  • Provide accurate decisions for the on-field umpire’s appeal. It includes various dismissals like run-outs, stumps, boundaries, and catches.
  • Review challenged decisions by players.
  • Finalize the decision to either uphold or overturn the on-field umpire’s decision.
  • Alter the playing conditions using the DLS method due to poor weather conditions like rain halting the match.

Understanding the basic skills required to become a cricket umpire

You need to understand these basic skills to become a successful umpire in cricket:

  • Excellent communication skills in English
  • High physical stamina and fitness to ensure the presence on the ground for long hours
  • Superior observation.
  • React spontaneously to avoid injuries on rare occasions
  • Spot decision-making
  • In-depth knowledge of the sport
  • Courage to stand with your decision
  • Handle spectators and on-field pressure

Pros and Cons of becoming a cricket umpire

Here are the pros and cons of becoming a cricket umpire:

PROS:

  • The attractive salary package of INR 40,000 to 60,000 per match.
  • Less educational qualification required
  • Opportunity to travel and explore different places
  • Slight Workload

CONS:

  • Challenging to handle social media and audience pressure
  • Isn’t possible to be alert at all times

A Brief Step-By-Step Procedure on How to Become a Cricket Umpire?

Here is the step-by-step procedure on how you should become a talented umpire in cricket:

  • Join the State Cricket Association
  • Acquire the state association sponsorship
  • Join the Umpire Academy of BCCI for the accreditation program
  • Pass the accreditation exam conducted by the academy
  • Participate as an umpire in different matches at state level for 2 to 3 years.
  • Apply for the Level 1 exam of BCCI and qualify to appear for the Level 2 exam
  • After qualifying the Level 2, BCCI will certify you as a qualified umpire to participate in national tournaments.
  • If you are planning to upgrade your career, you can request a recommendation from BCCI for umpiring certification from ICC to become an umpire in international cricket matches.