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I'm sure he's the People's Champion around these parts, but I've always thought that Emerson was a bit of a dick. I remember the ODI in '99 that he called Murali in, It was a shambes, and he and his partner did not run the game well. He looked throughout as though he was trying to enforce his personality on the game (something that an umpire should never do at any level) and that he was trying to make a name for himself.

There was more to him being arseholed than the usual chucking conspiracy theories as well - it was revealed not long after the game that he was actually on stress leave from his regular job, and the entirely valid point was made by the ACB as it was at the time that if he'd declared himself unfit to work, then he clearly wasn't fit to umpire an international game of cricket, either. Making himself into a pariah was no doubt a factor in him getting the boot, but being a bit convenient with the truth and/or behaving unethically probably didn't help his cause.

Tony Tea

There's definitely something in what you say, but I'm still in his court.


In his corner of what? Someone who thinks that Murali chucked? OK. Then you'll probably have to submit that calling him did more harm than good, because Emerson made himself look like a prize turkey, and anyone that was on the fence over the issue probably ended up siding with Muralitharan. The groundswell of opinion in the press and otherwise was overwhelmingly behind the bowler after that incident as far as I could tell (I can't really say online because there wasn't much of an online back then). I remember Botham in commentary going absolutely bananas about what a dick Emerson was being, for instance.

Chucking protocal was changed for a reason - to protect everyone, players and umpires alike from matters of opinion producing potentially career-ending results. Reporting concerns over dodgy actions to the referees followed by scientific testing was firmly in place by then, Emerson could have followed those lines and achieved much more, but he clearly wanted to be a hero.

And don't be giving me any of that "it was all an ICC conspiracy, and Bruce Whatsisname from the UWA was on the take" bullshit. For all we know, opinion behind closed doors at the ICC could well have mirrored the AGB readership, and they were fuming that the tests didn't go they way they thought they should. Unfortunately, once he'd been tested he'd been tested, and once the results were produced everyone was pretty much bound to honour them. By consequence, Emerson calling him was nothing more than a completely self-indulgent own-goal.

Tony Tea

No. My support for him comes more for his willingness to say that the other umpires thought he chucked but were too gutless to call him, that he was allowed to keep playing because he was crucial to Sri Lanka's prospects and that the crack down on chucking came after Murali had retired.


But surely it's not a question of gutless. Officiating of dodgy actions was taken out of the umpires' hands to protect everyone in the process, and at least in theory, apply more rigorous science to it. Whether the process was managed properly or not is beside the point, surely?

The timing of the recent crackdown does put Murali's career in a slightly different light. But surely, for all sorts of legal reasons, they couldn't have tested Murali AGAIN. I remain pretty convinced that if he was the benefit of anything at all, it was that the timing of it. The last time chucking had been an issue was when the game was still largely amateur, and so the laws and the technology needed time to evolve and catch up with the rest of the professional era. There's no way that it could have been some sort of ICC/Sri Lankan conspiracy either - what clout did Sri Lanka have? They were shrill and annoying at the time, but there's no way they could have held the rest of the world to ransom like India have lately.

Anyway - I still think Emerson's a bit of a dick.

Tony Tea

It wasn't taken out of the umpire's hands back then (if at all). Umpires were still allowed to call a throw. They were just discouraged by what had happened to Hair with the flak, criticism, and removal from contentious games, etc.

They were well within their rights to keep reporting Murali, but obviously felt there was no point, and that it was not worth the bother.

But Emerson could well be a dick.


It's dicks all round, dicks at ten paces, dicks off a shortened run. Dick ball!

Tony Tea

There were obviously plenty of dicks who ushered Murali into international cricket, despite knowing he chucked.

I am and will always be Non Trampis

It is an absolute disgrace that a chucker now is the highest wicket-taker in test cricket.
not a good look for umpires!

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