Waugh urges ICC to scrap neutral umpire policy

Published: Friday, January 4, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Sydney: After much hue and cry against umpiring decision in the second Test between India and Australia, former Aussie skipper has urged ICC to do away with the neutral umpire policy and says the best umpires should officiate in high-profile matches.

Waugh's comments came after several umpiring errors on the first day of the second Test between India and Australia in Sydney.

''The world's number 1 umpire for the past four years is Simon Taufel from Sydney and he should be out in the middle making the crucial decisions under pressure for this is what the best aspire to,'' Waugh wrote in Australia's Daily Telegraph.

Waugh felt the mistakes by West Indian Steve Bucknor and Englishman Mark Benson showed that neutral umpires not always guarantee error-free matches.

''To have at least four obvious errors in one day is not bad luck,'' Waugh said, ''just inadequate concentration.'' ''With the top players now earning millions of dollars and several cricket boards' revenues being upward of hundreds of millions, surely the game is entitled to see the best umpires officiating in the premium Test matches even if they are from the home countries,'' Waugh said.

Mark Benson failed to spot an edge down leg side from Ricky Ponting on 17 and then did not see another deflection off the bat when he gave Ponting out lbw for 55.

A nick from Andrew Symonds also escaped Steve Bucknor's attention, while the third umpire Bruce Oxenford turned down a stumping appeal despite replays suggesting that the batsman's foot was in the air when the bails came off.


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