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Engineer blasts match referee for Kanpur fiasco

November 21, 2008 19:34 IST

Former India wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer lashed out at match referee Roshan Mahanama, saying his lack of "common sense" resulted in the third One-Day International between India and England at Kanpur being decided by the Duckworth/Lewis system.

Fading light at the Green Park led to the match ending nine overs short and India winning by 16 runs. The result left England captain Kevin Pietersen fuming.

Engineer said it was not the Board of Control for Cricket in India's fault, but that of the ICC and its match referee.

"It's not the BCCI's fault or any of the teams' fault; it is the ICC's fault. They have two experienced umpires there and a match referee sitting in his cozy room watching the TV all day.

"Kanpur has good (floodlights) lights and they should have been used. Why couldn't Roshan Mahanama use his common sense, brought both captains together and said let's finish this with the lights on. They should also have started earlier and had a shorter break in between innings. These things need to be looked into, as it is not a good advert for cricket," Engineer said.

"Somebody somewhere needs his backside kicking big time. Ian Botham said on air that whoever came up with the rule to end a game like that should not be given another job and I have never heard a truer statement," he added.

Engineer also spoke highly of Mahendra Singh Dhoni's leadership and wicketkeeping abilities and said watching the India captain in action reminds him of his playing days.

"He is my blue-eyed boy. He reminds me so much of myself. His mannerisms, his batting, his ability to change a game, his wicketkeeping... I really have been impressed with him and how

he has improved," Engineer told Cricketnirvana.

"He is now a better reader of the game, he works out batsmen's strengths and weaknesses and is always looking to attack, whether with the bat or as captain.

"To be quite frank, it was obvious to me that Dhoni had the make-up as a player and with his temperament to be a huge success as captain. And wicketkeepers see the game better than most, so they do have an advantage."

Engineer felt Dhoni has improved a lot over the years, in batting and wicketkeeping also.

"I was fortunate enough to spend some time with him in an advisory capacity on keeping and batting in 2007 when India toured England. His wicketkeeping improved immediately on that tour, but I am in no way saying that was down to my input as I would not want to undermine his talent, but it shows how he is willing to learn.

"He has also matured as a batsman. That innings [half century at Lord's in the first Test against England] showed that he is willing to graft and play patiently for the team when he needs to but can also crash, bang and wallop with the best batsmen in the world when he wants to."

He also felt that Yuvraj Singh should take Sourav Ganguly's position in the Test team.

"That is quite simple. Not only has Yuvraj proved himself with the bat in this series but he has also showed what a good bowler he is too. He has been dropped many times by the selectors but I would never leave a player like him out. He should probably be the first name down on the team-sheet."

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