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Ashes 2019: Ponting calls for end to neutral umpires as Edgbaston errors continue

By Opta
Joel Wilson Aleem Dar - cropped

Birmingham, Aug 2: Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes the ICC should end its policy of appointing neutral umpires for Test matches.

At present, umpires are only allowed to stand in Tests providing they do not hail from one of the countries involved.

However, this significantly restricts the number of officials available for the Ashes, given seven members of the ICC's 12-man elite panel are English or Australian.

Pakistan's Aleem Dar and the newly promoted Joel Wilson of West Indies have been guilty of a host of errors during the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston. After seven blunders on the opening day alone, they combined to make three more mistakes in just over a session of play on Friday.

Ponting told cricket.com.au: "I would like to think the game has come far enough now for the game to not have neutral umpires.

"People might say that with all the technology we've got now, it doesn’t matter that much. But it's not a good spectacle when pretty obviously wrong decisions are made. There's been a lot of negativity about the DRS over the years, but we're pretty lucky that we had it ."

As a member of the MCC's Cricket Committee, Ponting intends to make sure the matter is considered by the game's decision-makers.

"It's already been spoken about a lot among the players. If it's not brought up , I'll make sure it's added to the agenda," he added.

"Surely Richard Kettleborough and the like would want to be umpiring the best series. The best umpires can end up missing out on all the big tournaments.

"It could force umpires into retirement a bit early as well when someone like Simon Taufel is spending most of his life , which is a bit harder than spending your time in Australia."

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Story first published: Friday, August 2, 2019, 19:30 [IST]
Other articles published on Aug 2, 2019
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