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UMPIRES IN IPL CRICKET | Speaking with Satrajit Lahiri

Oh my gosh! – is it a cricket shot or a hockey scoop? Sir Donald Bradman must be twisting and turning in the grave seeing A B De Villiers rolling over the ground playing a reverse scoop.

Bradman, of course has seen Rohan Kanhai’s falling sweep. But that was a conventional sweep. The MCC coaching manual must have been revised by now, incorporating reverse sweep, upper cut, Merrilier Scoop, Dilscoop, switch hit and helicopter shot.

To put it simply, T-20 cricket has kept the research laboratory busy 24X7. Who knows – some day Virat Kohli might switch stance and play a Brian Lara cover Drive. This IPL is already witnessing some of them. From a coach’s perspective Satrajit Lahiri, an accredited level C coach from both BCCI and ECB feels the game will see more such innovative strokes in the coming days. He says, “Both the batsman and bowlers are trying to outsmart each other. While the bowlers are unleashing knuckle ball, carom ball and slower bouncer the batsmen are coming up with shots like reverse scoop or Dil-scoop”

A product of BCCI’s National Cricket Academy, Lahiri’s coaching prowess catapulted him to the role of Assistant Director of coaching with M S Dhoni’s Cricket Academy in India. A team of coaches along with Lahiri is endeavouring to change the landscape of grass roots coaching in India. His vision is to spread M S Dhoni cricket academy across the globe.

Satrajit Lahiri played first class cricket in India for both Bengal and Tripura. Besides his coaching degree he dons another hat. He is a first class umpire in India’s domestic cricket. While agreeing to the transformation in the way umpires officiate these days he says, “Twenty years back umpires didn’t need to be as fit as the T-20 era.

But Things have changed completely. The likes of Simon Tauffel and Alim Dar have shown how the umpires need to be physically fit and agile when the batsmen take runs and fielders throw at the stump.”

Satrajit Lahiri is passionate both with coaching and umpiring, the roles he juggles with great finesse. But given the choice it is obvious that he would love to coach than officiate.

© Cricket World 2020