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Home / Cricket / ICC will stick with neutral umpires, says Gavaskar

ICC will stick with neutral umpires, says Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar that the sight of respected Australian umpire Simon Taufel standing in a home Test was not on the cards.

cricket Updated: Jan 04, 2008 17:52 IST

In spite of the growing criticism of umpiring standards, cricket's lawmakers will stick with neutral umpires and will only consider bringing in technological assistance if it is foolproof, the media reported Friday.

Sunil Gavaskar, chairman of the powerful International Cricket Council's Cricket Committee (ICCCC), said Thursday that the sight of respected Australian umpire Simon Taufel standing in a home Test was not on the cards.

Gavaskar's comments came after calls for the neutral umpire system to be scrapped, and increased technology to help umpires, emerged following a series of questionable decisions on day one and two of the ongoing second Test between
India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

Talking about neutral umpires, Gavaskar said: "That will be there for a while. I know there is some talk about having only the best umpires come in, but rather than having any controversy regarding decisions, I think it is probably a lot better (to have the system)," he said.

"If a third country umpire makes a (questionable) decision, it won't be as acrimonious as if a home umpire made that decision."

The ICCCC is tasked with discussing and recommending changes to all elements of cricket playing conditions; and contains experts such as Mark Taylor, Michael Holding, Tim May and Mahela Jayawardene.

The committee meets several times a year and is due to meet next in May.
Gavaskar said the use of further technology to help umpires was always on the agenda but only considered for adoption if consistently reliable.

"Technology is always discussed at every meeting because every year some new technology comes through," he said.

"Snicko wasn't there a few years ago and that's come in, the Hawkeye wasn't there.

"There have been different technologies coming through but the stance of the ICC and the cricket committee has been fairly consistent in as much that the decision is wherever, it is foolproof, that you can go ahead and use it.

"But where there is an element of doubt, where it's not 100 percent, then the words the ICC use is to 'hasten slowly'."

Gavaskar said recasting the elite umpires' panel, which contains several veteran officials, was also an issue of importance.

He said younger umpires may be posted in non-pressure Tests like Bangladesh versus New Zealand. "At the end of the day you want players' performances to grab the headlines, not the umpires," Gavaskar said.

"In that respect Wednesday was perhaps a day which was forgettable from the umpires' point of view," he added, referring to a number of decisions that had gone against India at the SCG.

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