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Cricket Buzz: MCC backs neutral Test umpires

August 13, 2019 15:04 IST

As many as 10 decisions by rookie West Indian umpire Joel Wilson and Pakistan's Aleem Dar were overturned by the Decision Review System during last week's Edgbaston Test. There were at least five more errors that went unreviewed

IMAGE: As many as 10 decisions by rookie West Indian umpire Joel Wilson and Pakistan's Aleem Dar were overturned by the Decision Review System during last week's Edgbaston Test. There were at least five more errors that went unreviewed. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

The Marylebone Cricket Club, considered the custodian of the game's laws, has backed neutral umpires in Test matches despite calls for a revamp after the opening Ashes Test was marred by a number of poor decisions.

As many as 10 decisions by rookie West Indian umpire Joel Wilson and Pakistan's Aleem Dar were overturned by the Decision Review System during last week's Edgbaston Test. There were at least five more errors that went unreviewed.

 

Standing in only his 13th Test, Wilson equalled the record for reversals when eight of his decisions were successfully appealed by the players.

But despite the gaffes, MCC insisted that neutral Test umpiring is still the best way forward.

"It was obviously a bit of a focus after the last match. Ricky Ponting mentioned the prospect of bringing back non-neutral umpires and it is something being discussed by the ICC Cricket Committee as well. But the feeling is neutrality still works," MCC Head of Cricket John Stephenson was quoted as saying by the media here.

Currently, seven of the 12-strong elite panel hail from England or Australia and Stephenson said the need of the hour is to invest more in raising the umpiring standard across the globe.

During a two-day meeting of MCC's Cricket Committee at Lord's on Monday, which was attended by MCC chairman Mike Gatting, Stephenson and panel members Shane Warne and Kumar Sangakkara, it was also decided to increase the number of umpires in ICC's elite panel.

"Unfortunately there is quite an imbalance with ICC elite-level umpiring panel where you have certain umpires adjudicating in certain series. But we think it's time for the base to be broadened and to train up more umpires to get to the elite levels," Stephenson said.

"Overall, we think neutrality does work. But with DRS and technology maybe it's something we need look at in the future.

"In one-day cricket we have one non-neutral umpire standing and in Twenty20 we have it as well. Maybe further down the line it can be a thing," he added.

Kirsten to coach men's Cardiff team in 'Hundred' league

Former India coach Gary Kirsten has been appointed as coach of the men's Cardiff team for The Hundred league, scheduled to kick off next year.

Kirsten, the former South Africa opener, had led India to World Cup victory in 2011 and has also worked with IPL side Royal Challengers Bangalore apart from his association with Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash.

"To be involved in English and Welsh cricket from a coaching perspective is something that I have never done. It's great to be given that opportunity and to come to Cardiff," Kirsten said was quoted as saying by ESPNCricnfo.

"This is a new format that I am sure will grow and grow. The real win is that it will grab the attention of families and expose the game of cricket to as many environments and communities as possible," he added.

Matthew Mott, who guided the Australia women's team to T20 World Cup triumph last year, will be in charge of the women's team at Cardiff.

"Cardiff is a special place for me and my family and that was a big part in my decision to return," Mott said.

"I've got no doubt The Hundred will be a success for the women's game. I've got a young son who is a Sydney Sixers fan and he doesn't see gender -- he just sees the team. The Hundred will provide that sort of platform in England and Wales and I can't speak highly enough of what that can mean for the game."

The new eight-team league, the brainchild of the England and Wales Cricket Board, is expected to run between July and September in 2020.

The 100-ball matches in the league will involve one 10-ball over and LBW will not be a mode of dismissal.

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