London, Dec.8 (ANI): Former Test and ODI umpire Dickie Bird believes the new review system undermines the authority of the field umpires it is supposed to help.
As the International Cricket Council last night tried to make contact with English umpire Mark Benson, who left the Adelaide Test amid reports he was upset at having one decision overruled by the TV umpire and another strenuously queried by Australian captain Ricky Ponting, Bird told The Daily Telegraph in London that the review system was flawed because it put undue pressure on the umpires in the middle, whose decisions can now be changed with the use of technology.
"I would never have brought them in. They are taking the authority away from the on-field umpires, and the whole thing is causing more problems than it's worth," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Bird, as saying.
"I am in agreement with Roger Federer, who wanted Hawk-Eye thrown out of Wimbledon, and Sepp Blatter, who says that refereeing decisions are part of football. Players should accept these things and move on, but all the money that has come into sport has turned their heads," he added.
ICC match referee Chris Broad was adamant that Benson left for medical reasons, although he is understood to have boarded a plane to England rather than seek treatment in Adelaide.
Players and officials continue to wrestle with the system; Ponting yesterday spent both his reviews within the first hour of play and had none left later in the day when Doug Bollinger made a worthy appeal for the wicket of Brendan Nash.
The ensuing gesture could cost Bollinger a chunk of his match fee, after Broad charged him with dissent last night.
Meanwhile, Test cricket limps ever closer to a formal world championship, with Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland admitting the rich traditions underpinning the game here cannot be relied upon in the rest of the world.
While many have mulled over the future of cricket's oldest format in Australia, it is overseas where the game is in far greater trouble due to dipping crowds, falling television ratings and lukewarm administrators.
A proposal by the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations that calls for the scrapping of international cricket's Future Tours Program will be considered among the options. (ANI)