Umpiring In Cricket | An Ultimate Walkthrough

Umpiring In Cricket | An Ultimate Walkthrough

A good umpire, like a good FBI agent, is never noticed if he is doing a good job ~ Thomas Boswell.

This might sound vague, but you can make a cricket career even if you’re not good at playing! No, it’s not a trap (and we will not suggest cheerleading!). Umpiring in cricket is what you can opt for! 

If you’re looking for a safe career option in cricket, you can opt for umpiring. This blog will guide you through the essential details you need to know before starting your career as a cricket umpire. 

A rather uncommon career choice, the rise in the job profiles for umpires and referees is expected to grow by 6% for the entire decade, and if you are a cricket enthusiast, then what job better than a cricket umpire? Let us look at the process of becoming a cricket umpire. 

How To Become A Cricket Umpire

Let’s not beat around the bush and get straight to the details and other requirements for umpiring in cricket. 

Umpiring in cricket is not as easy as it sounds. You have to train, learn, memorise, and pass multiple levels of tests before you start umpiring in cricket. The basic process followed worldwide includes:

  • Searching for the local/state cricket association.
  • Learning the basics of umpiring in cricket and passing the association’s test.
  • Observing and learning the skills required to be an umpire.

There may be some countries with specific requirements and rules.

How To Become A Cricket Umpire In India? 

Becoming a cricket umpire in India has a similar process that is followed worldwide. Here are the steps you can follow for umpiring in cricket in India. 

The first step is registering with the state association and seeking information regarding umpiring in cricket. Each state association has a preliminary internal test that you must pass. You will be given training for three days, and an exam will be conducted post that. 

After clearing the exam, you will be allowed to umpire in the cricket matches organised by the state association, and your performance will be judged accordingly. 

If you consistently perform well, the association will forward your name for the BCCI level 1 exam organised once or twice a year. A process similar to the state association exam is followed, wherein the candidates are trained for three days and then take up the exam on the fourth day. 

After clearing the exam, the shortlisted candidates must appear for another round of exams with the BCCI that will test their practical knowledge and other skills. 

Clearing these two levels makes the candidate take the next step in the process. After the rigorous series of tests, the candidates become eligible to take up the next test by the BCCI level 2 exam. The exam is divided into three phases; a theory test, a practical test, and an oral/viva test. 

After successfully clearing the test, you will be officially allowed to make an entry into the BCCI umpire’s panel.

What Are The Skills Required For Umpiring In Cricket?

Skills and attributes are essential for umpiring in cricket. Alongside the fundamental qualifications, possessing these skill sets is imperative for making accurate decisions.

Decision-Making Skills 

Umpiring in cricket is not only a task of precision and technicality, but it also requires taking a correct decision and standing by it. Making sound decisions is one of the most essential parts of the job responsibilities of an umpire. Taking a call in a split second with precision is one of the characteristics that an umpire has to possess. 

Communication Skills

As an umpire, having a conversation with fellow umpires and the players is essential. An umpire’s role is not limited to making the right decision but conveying correctly to the people related to the sport. Since most cricket playing nations were part of the British Commonwealth, speaking English is one of the requirements.

Multitasking Skills 

Since the game involves managing both teams and ensuring the smooth functioning of the game. Umpiring in cricket is a task of eyes and ears! So, be it a wide ball, a no ball, a cleaned bowled, or an LBW, an umpire has to make a decision keeping a lot of aspects in mind. 

The Signals & Gestures Important For Umpiring In Cricket 

Multiple hand gestures can be slightly confusing while watching cricket, and while answering the question of “how to become an umpire”, hand signals and gestures are crucial. Here are a few important hand gestures that an umpire needs to know! 

No Ball

A no-ball is when the bowler steps his foot ahead of the crease or if the ball goes above the batsman’s waistline. The right signal for a no-ball is when the umpire extends one hand horizontally in the air. 

Free Hit 

A free hit is when the batsman is awarded an additional ball after a no-ball. This privilege is given to the batsman in limited-over matches, and the striker is free of dismissal(Batsman can get out only via runout). The hand signal for a free hit is rotating the hand above the head in the air. 

Wide Ball 

While umpiring in cricket, the person has to be aware of the bowler’s stance as well as the batsman’s actions. A wide ball is when the umpire feels that the ball delivered to the striker is out of the rules defined in cricket (it is either too high or too wide for the batsman to hit). In such situations, the umpire signals for a wide ball, and an additional run is awarded to the opposite team. The umpire raises both hands 90 degrees horizontally to indicate a wide ball. 

Four Runs

When the striker hits the ball, and it crosses beyond the boundary (the ball touches the ground once). To show that the batsman has secured four runs, the umpire raises his hand to the waist (or chest) and raises it back and forth. 

Six Runs

A sixer is scored by the batsman when s/he hits the ball straight to go beyond the boundary (without touching the ground). To signal a sixer, the umpire raises both hands above the head. 


While umpiring in cricket, this is one of the most common hand signals an umpire must learn. When the ball touches the wickets or the ball is cached by the opposite team player, or by any other chance, if the player is out, the umpire has to declare it by a certain kind of hand gesture. To show that the player is out, the umpire raises his hand vertically and points out the index finger in the air. 

These are a few main umpire hand signals that are crucial to learn if you want to learn how to become an umpire in cricket! 

Summing Up…

You must know these details before thinking about umpiring in cricket. It is not necessary for a person to be a cricket player to become an umpire in cricket. All you need to do is learn the skills, thoroughly know the game and, most importantly, pass the test! 

If you feel this blog was informative and solved your doubt about how to become a cricket umpire, or did we miss any facts and information, let us know in the comments below! 

There is a reverse umpire in cricket which can sometimes be referred to as the fourth umpire.

The salary of an elite panel is around Rs. 1-2 lakhs for one match, while a development umpire receives around Rs. 50-60k per match. So you can get a good salary for umpiring in cricket.

The minimum age to appear for the exams to become an umpire is 18, and the maximum age is 60 years.

Harold Dennis, a.k.a, "Dickie Bird", is considered one of the best umpires in the history of cricket.

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