Pakistan to try out neutral umpires in ODIs

Published: Saturday, July 2, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi:Pakistan who have long advocated the appointment of neutral umpires in One-day Internationals, hope to set the trend by using two neutral umpires in the home series ODIs against England this November.

"The International Cricket Council (ICC) said if a member country wants to introduce neutral umpires, it will have to consult the visiting team.

"We have to consult England, but I don't think they would disagree," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan told BBC Sport.

"I am to meet ECB people on Friday. I will also write them officially in this regard and we hope to reach to a decision very soon.

"At least three months are needed for the appointment of neutral umpires by the ICC. Fortunately, we have this time for the England home series."

The PCB had tabled a proposal before the ICC executive committee meeting earlier this week.

While rejecting it, the ICC has allowed individual member countries to introduce them on their own.

Shaharyar said he hoped Pakistan's lead on the matter would set an example for other countries.

"Making errors is a human trait. But when a home umpire gets it wrong, it might ignite strong reactions. This situation is least likely to happen in case of neutral umpires," he explained.

"When we play against India, the struggle can be felt everywhere in the two nations. Any mistake by a home umpire may cause resentment not only among fans but teams as well."

At present, Test matches are officiated by umpires from the ICC's Elite Panel, while in ODIs, one neutral umpire stands alongside a local official appointed by the host country.

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