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India v/s South Africa: How controversial umpire Vineet Kulkarni remains India’s No 1 official

A loophole in BCCI’s working procedure has enabled Maharashtra umpire Vineet Kulkarni to remain as India’s No 1 match official as S Ravi is already in the ICC Elite Panel.

Indian umpire Vineet Kulkarni

Kulkarni got on-field assignments during the current series because going by BCCI’s guidelines, their top umpire in ICC Emirates Panel gets on-field duty for home series.

“There has been no BCCI Umpires’ sub-committee’s assessment meeting for the last two years. Kulkarni is getting assignments on the basis of his ranking points of 2013. After that for two years, there has not been fresh evaluation. The list has not been updated,” a BCCI official in the know of things told PTI on Friday. The BCCI official said that Kulkarni’s future will now depend a lot on the kind of report given by ICC match referee Chris Broad.

“It will be Broad’s assessment that will decide his future. Plus ICC’s own video analysis team will analyse each and every contentious decision. There are three columns that match referees need to tick. Correct decision, error and inconclusive. If Broad ticks inconclusive column, Kulkarni might get a reprieve. Or else it will be ICC Umpires committee’s prerogative,” the source said.

Kulkarni, who has been at the receiving end for a few debatable decisions given during the ongoing India versus South Africa series, had Indian team manager Vinod Phadke openly criticising his performance. Kulkarni incidentally started as a scorer and entered BCCI panel in the later part of last decade. Last year, he was not assigned on-field duty in Ranji Trophy final despite his home state Maharashtra not qualifying for the final.

In fact a former India Test player, who was the coach of a top state side, had given an adverse report about his decision. Meanwhile, the BCCI has started a debriefing session of match referees and umpires from this season of Ranji Trophy.

“Actually it has been decided that at the end of the match, the two on-field umpire and TV umpire will sit with match referee and the match will be dissected. This will enable the umpire to get a first-hand report of his performance from the match referee,” said the source.