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    July 05, 2006

    Rent a Wagon unplugged

    In a very interesting conversation with Shekhar Gupta from the Indian Express on NDTV's "Walk the Talk" show, Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan (his name being used to come up with the "Rent a Wagon" nickname), over 1000 first-class wickets and possibly the only one to don multiple roles - player, skipper, match referee and umpire (bent elbow and all), talks about chucking, spin bowling, umpiring, three appeals per team and Gavaskar (good and bad).

    He mentions a fabulous anecdote which'd have taken place not too long ago.
    How do players pressure the umpire? Give us some examples.

    If the umpire’s body language is such that it comes through that I am the boss, I am controlling this game, then I think the players can’t do much about it.

    Have you ever faced it?

    To give you one incident. In this match between Australia and West Indies at Adelaide, there was a huge appeal off Glenn McGrath. About seven Australian players went up and I said, "not out". So they waited for the replay on the big screen. Glenn walked past me after that and said, "Venks he was nowhere near the ball". I said, "yeah Glenn I know that, now go on and finish the over". Gillespie bowled the next over and in Glenn’s over after that, there was again this huge appeal. The fine leg went up for that. I again said, "not out" and again they looked at the screen. Glenn again walked past me and said, "Venks I’m happy somebody is watching this match".
    His memory isn't what it used to be obviously, since Sarwan's only played one game at Adelaide: the recent Brian Lara 226 game, and Venkat didn't umpire that game. He's only umpired one West Indies game at Adelaide, and that was a one-dayer against Australia in 2001, but Sarwan wasn't playing. Nevertheless, it's still a fabulous anecdote! That was pretty stupid of me. I guess watching Sarwan too often over the last two months has done this to me. There's obviously no mention of Sarwan, as Aditya points out.

    There're a few other long lasting images of Venkat's umpiring. He brilliantly controlled the proceedings when Michael Slater was having a go at Dravid in 2001, having none of his "I know I caught it" claims.

    The second is a little less known. I think this was during South Africa's tour to West Indies in 2001. Neil McGarrell, on debut, was the bowler. The batsman was Lance Klusener. McGarrell appealed for an lbw. The ball was missing leg for sure. Venkat said 'not out'. McGarrell kept appealing. Venkat then almost barked 'not out' and McGarrell had no option but to get back and bowl.

    He also had a penchant to give Shane Warne the benefit of doubt, with his bowling, quite a few times. Perhaps some soft corner?
    Thus spake Jagadish @ 11:52 AM |
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    1 sledge(s):

    I am not sure what you have read, but I do not see any mention of Sarwan at all in the interview that Venkat gave. Yet you seem to be harking upon the issue of Sarwan not playing any game that Venkat umpired.
    Guess you are confused by following too much cricket :-)

    Cheers,
    Aditya

    By Anonymous Anonymous (05-Jul-2006, 3:47:00 AM)  


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