Neutral umpires best for Test cricket: MCC

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) insists engaging neutral umpires is still the best option for cricket. The chaos has recently been widespread after Joel Wilson’s decisions in the first Test between England and Australia faced immense criticism.

Neutral umpires best for Test cricket: MCC Committee
Joel Wilson and Aleem Dar had huge number of decisions overturned by both teams in first Ashes Test. Photo: Getty Images

In the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston, eight decisions made by West Indian umpire Wilson were overturned by players from both teams.

Pakistan’s Aleem Dar who was another to officiate the match, also made several errors during the proceeding.

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John Stephenson, head of cricket at MCC said,

“I think the feeling is still that neutrality works. Unfortunately there is still quite an imbalance in the ICC elite panel.”

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who is in the MCC rules panel, said after the opening Ashes test was flooded with miscued decision making, the use of DRS should see the best umpires officiate in one of the highest contests of cricket regardless of their nationality.

Currently, seven of the 12 elite panel umpires are from either England or Australia.


Stephenson further said, “It was a bit of a focus during the last Test match and Ricky mentioned the possibility of bringing back non-neutral umpires.”

“It’s probably a good time for the base to be broadened, maybe something should be done to train up more umpires to get them to elite level around the world,” he further added.

However, after the meeting at Lord’s on Monday between MCC chairman Mike Gatting, assistant secretary John Stephenson and panel members Shane Warne and Kumar Sangakkara, it was agreed that increasing the numbers of elite level umpires across the world would be the best possible option to elevate umpiring standard. 

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