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December 6, 2001
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Kiwis complain to ICC
about umpiring

Even as the debate over the controversy stemming from match-referee Mike Dennes's decisions continues, another potential stand-off looms large, with New Zealand raising concerns about the competence of a Zimbabwean umpire who officiated during their drawn third Test against Australia at Perth.

According to reports received in Sydney, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has written to the International Cricket Council complaining about the umpiring decisions.

NZC's Chief Executive Martin Snedden said they have expressed particular concern about the performance of Zimbabwean umpire Ian Robinson, who rejected two critical appeals during Australia's second innings.

Television replays showed Australian captain Steve Waugh and all-rounder Jason Gillespie were lucky to survive appeals for catches behind the wicket. The match finally ended in a draw when Australia, chasing 440 runs for victory, finished the final day 69 runs short of the winning target with three wickets in hand.

Snedden said the New Zealand team had serious concerns about Robinson's competence and NZC hoped he would not receive another Test appointment.

Snedded said NZC has also demanded increased video scrutiny of umpiring decisions.

Meanwhile, the umpire in question, Ian Robinson, has made an impassioned plea for understanding the predicament of umpires.

Robinson was quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald as saying, "It's tough it really is. How can any human being be as good as a camera? Umpires can only do the best they can. That's all I can do. We're on a hiding to nothing, really.

"Nobody bothers mentioning the things we get right, but of course everyone highlights it when we get it wrong. We're all human and we all have human frailties. We're never going to be as good as modern technology."

Also see
The Mike Denness controversy

Mail Cricket Editor

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