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Herbie Felsinger as Cricketer and Cricket Umpire

May 7, 2018

Sa’adi Thawfeeq in The Nation, 25 April 2018

Herbie Felsinger was a legend among local cricket umpires. Umpires of his genre are few and far between today in an ever changing world. “I feel we did a better job than the present umpires because when they have a doubt they always go to third umpire. In our time if we gave out that’s it, the batsman went. If the ball pitches within the sticks and if it doesn’t’ vary much and the batsman misses, it’s out,” said Felsinger. The standard of Sri Lankan umpires in Felsinger’s opinion is ‘below standard’. Sri Lanka umpiring standards have gone down from what it was during our time. The reason is more money. Umpires are always thinking of money not the game. They are keener to finish the match early and get the money.”

Another area which Felsinger felt the local umpires were lacking is the back foot no-ball. “Our umpires don’t look at the back foot because most bowlers cut the line with the back foot and they are not no-balled. The greatest offender is Sanath Jayasuriya. If the back foot cuts the side line it is a no-ball. The umpires only look at the front foot for a no-ball and not the back foot. We were taught to look for this. On television when the ball is bowled the camera focuses on the batsman and not on the bowler so no one ever sees it. Only if a bowler is no-balled it is shown in slow motion where the front foot landed.”

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