Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting said it’s time to have a relook at the concept of neutral umpires after numerous incorrect decisions were made in the first Ashes Test in Birmingham.
Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar and West Indian Joel Wilson drew criticism after 10 decisions were overturned on the first two days of opening Test between England and Australia.
Ponting is member of Marylebone Cricket Club’s (MCC) crucial Cricket Committee and said he will make sure the topic is discussed during their next meeting.
We have #10 -- Here's another decision that's been overturned. Root had a big inside edge and Aleem Dar's lbw decision has been reversed again!— Cricbuzz (@cricbuzz) August 2, 2019
No of wrong decisions: Aleem Dar - 5 | Joel Wilson - 5.
Who's winning this battle between the umpires?
“It’s already been spoken about a lot among the players. If it’s not brought up (at that next MCC meeting), I’ll make sure it’s added to the agenda,” he told Cricket Australia‘s website.
“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,” Ponting added.
“There’s been a lot of negativity about the DRS (Decision Review System) over the years, but we’re pretty lucky that we had it (at Edgbaston).”
The ICC has made neutral umpires mandatory in 2002, which means umpires from England and Australia can’t officiate in the Ashes.
Ponting said quality umpires like England’s Richard Kettleborough are being forced to miss major series and travel the rest of the world.
“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,” he said.
“It could force umpires into retirement a bit early as well when someone like (former Australian umpire) Simon Taufel is spending most of his life overseas, which is a bit harder than spending your time in Australia.”
Russell has been struggling with knee issues that have hampered his bowling. He batted in the IPL and then the World Cup despite wrist issues and started the World Cup bowling at top pace but soon broke down. He was ruled out of the World Cup after four matches.
He underwent knee surgery but experienced discomfort once again during the Global T20 Canada tournament, playing for Vancouver Knights.
He expressed his unavailability for the first two matches of the T20 series against India in Florida which starts on Saturday. West Indies announced Jason Mohammed as his replacement.
It is rather strange that Andre Russell was declared unfit for the West Indies vs India T20Is, yet played for Vancouver Knights in the Global T20 in Canada. https://t.co/8f8rn7Voum— Blacks in Whites (@BlaqsInCricket) August 3, 2019
However, just hours after West Indies Cricket made the announcement, Russell turned out for Vancouver in the GT20.
Russell did not bowl against Edmonton Royals but he did bat, getting out for a golden duck against Ben Cutting. The star all-rounder’s decision to play in the GT20 after announcing his unavailability for the Windies has not gone down well with a section of fans.
Steve Smith stared down a depleted England attack and a hostile Edgbaston crowd as his superb century single-handedly rescued Australia on the opening day of the 2019 Ashes.
The first Specsavers Test would have kicked off with England seemingly well in the box seat had Smith not hit a brilliant 144, more than half of his team’s 284 all out and a distant dream after they limped to 122 for eight.
Sixteen months after watching their careers collapse in disgrace following the sandpaper scandal, Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft all returned to boos, jeers and brickbats from the notoriously raucous Birmingham crowd, but while the latter pair faltered Smith flourished.
England had one hand tied behind their back from the moment record wicket-taker James Anderson was struck down by a right calf injury that restricted him to one four-over spell, and he faces an uncertain future in the match and the series.
After Smith’s tour de force was ended, Rory Burns and Jason Roy were left to face two awkward overs at the close but held their nerve to reach 10 without loss.
Follow the action from Edgbaston with our live commentary below..