England v Australia, 3rd Investec Test, Old Trafford, 4th day August 4, 2013

Prior open to non-neutral umpires

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Matt Prior has suggested he would welcome England and Australian umpires officiating in Ashes Tests in an attempt to eradicate the errors that have marred the Investec Ashes series.

England have become increasingly frustrated by the unpredictability of the umpiring in the series. While they are sympathetic to the on-field officials, understanding that mistakes are inevitable in such circumstances, they are less phlegmatic about mistakes after the involvement of the DRS.

The latest controversy concerned an appeal against David Warner, after England were convinced his attempted pull shot had resulted in an edge to wicketkeeper Prior. Hot Spot, which has looked an increasingly unreliable tool in this series, showed nothing, but audio replays suggested an edge. The TV umpire upheld the on-field umpire's decision of not out. Snickometer, which is not part of the DRS, also backed up England's case.

It left England "frustrated" in Prior's words, and while he remains supportive of the DRS in general, he did suggest the system may require some examination and expressed a willingness to abandon one of the founding principles of Test umpiring in recent years: that of neutrality.

"I honestly don't care where the umpires are from as long as the right decisions are made," Prior said. "I think that is the most important thing. You need to make sure that decisions are correct.

"It doesn't matter if they are Aussies or English or anybody else; all you want is the right outcome at the end of the day.

"There was disbelief [when Warner was given not out] because he hit it. That's why we referred it and when you are that sure and it is still given not out it is quite frustrating. That's why there was a bit of chat around.

"There wasn't any evidence [from Hot Spot] and that is frustrating. All you can go on from a referral point of view was how you see it. Alastair Cook and I were pretty adamant he had hit it. I think Snicko shows he did. We were right in referring it, but unfortunately it did not go our way.

"It is pretty frustrating for everyone at the moment," he said. "At no time will we ever be critical of an umpire making the wrong decision on the field. Everyone makes mistakes in a day. I know more than anyone: it all happens quickly. Everyone is looking at me for DRS decisions and it happens quickly.

"I have always said I am a big fan of the DRS. It works and it is the way forward but once you use a review you have to then get a decision right. Once it goes up to the third umpire the decision that comes out has to be the correct decision. Whether the technology needs to be looked at or how they use it, I don't know. But for the players at the moment that is the biggest frustration."

ESPNcricinfo understands that the possibility of utilising non-neutral umpires in the Ashes has been discussed, but that the Australian and English boards are reluctant to set a precedent that could result in non-neutral umpires around the world. Instead, the boards are considering inviting overseas umpires to officiate in their own domestic cricket with a view to helping them develop their skills.

At present, only four umpires - Marais Erasmus, Tony Hill, Kumar Dharmasena and Aleem Dar - are eligible to stand in Ashes series as the rest on the ICC's elite panel are from either England or Australia.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • landl47 on August 4, 2013, 22:27 GMT

    I'd have no problem with the Ashes tests being umpired by non-neutral umpires. I have great regard for Australian umpires and I'm sure that decisions made by them (and by UK umpires) would be made without fear or favour.

    However, if non-neutral umpires were approved I can see a gradual erosion of the quality of umpiring as boards first suggested and then insisted on having umpires selected by them included on the panel for their home tests. The problems associated with that are what caused the move to neutral umpires in the first place.

    The removal of umpires Rauf and Bowden from the elite list and their replacement by an Australian and a UK umpire, while justified from a competence perspective, has led to an imbalance in umpires available for England/Australian tests. The solution is to train more non-Aus/UK umpires, not to go back to non-neutrals.

  • tahalateef on August 6, 2013, 20:00 GMT

    We need to keep neutral umpires.

  • tahalateef on August 6, 2013, 19:59 GMT

    @HemangaR: My friend what I am saying is that cameras used by the broadcasters to cover matches use more than 500 FPS (Frames Per Second). However it is not possible to broadcast to live audiences at that FPS of 500 +. In that aspect you are right that they would broadcast to the TV viewers at 25 to 29 FPS and if you record that video and run it in slow motion you would get the ball traveling a half meter to one meter between each frame, just as you mentioned. However, whenever the feed and replays are requested by the 3rd umpire to make decisions or for hot spot etc. the video recording provided is the one on 500 + FPS. In that case the distance the ball travels between each frame is a few centimeters only.

  • on August 6, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    I don't see why the 12 elite umpire names are not put in a hat and four drawn.

    They are after all "elite".

  • on August 5, 2013, 16:54 GMT

    I agree with you Erantha, umpire Dharmasena made a right decision, and i dont know why commentators and the Australians making complain when they are on fore-front favouring DRS and I applauded the writer of this article to provide the truth.

    I do know that there have been lots of bad decisions against the opponents by English and Aussies umpires, it has been a norm to favour the hosting country....they are available on youtube.

  • on August 5, 2013, 16:25 GMT

    I would say whatever Dharmsena has done... Are blunders!... DRS is a good thing... but instead of all signs of KP not getting or Warner getting out.... "How can you go to the on-field call" .... It means you know the decision is wrong.....but still you want to go ahead for the on-feild call.... This is a disaster.... and shouldn't happen....

    I also think that they should look on increasing no. of reviews per innings... 2 are not sufficient!

  • YorkshirePudding on August 5, 2013, 16:23 GMT

    Maybe with the Neutral umpire panel being so small for England vs Australia games the umpires in the middle should be from the nations two nations such that (1 english and 1 Australian) with a well trained neutral monitoring the DRS and a neutral replacement umpire.

    Sadly most of the controversies have been due to misinterpretation of the DRS data available.

  • likeintcricket on August 5, 2013, 15:51 GMT

    It doesn't prove that Aus/Eng umpires are more efficient. It just shows the players disrepect for the officials and the rules regarding the games. I have seen English umpires makes number od mistakes during a single game.

  • CricketChat on August 5, 2013, 15:42 GMT

    Neutral Umpires and DRS along with HotSpot are a must that should be mandatory for all international cricket matches. This will remove the element of bias and human error to a great extent where players can feel secure. A few mistakes now and then will always occur, but that can't be a reason to go back to dark age.

  • 2MikeGattings on August 5, 2013, 14:49 GMT

    @Chris_P Let me remind you of this. In the 1970-1 Ashes series there were serious disputes about the umpiring quality, including accusations of bias, to such as extent that the England captain Ray Illingworth was hauled over the coals for dissent by the MCC. Lou Rowan, who umpired every game in the six match series, was at the centre of the controversy. One particular bone of contention was that no Australian batsman was given out LBW in the entire series. His warnings to John Snow for intimidatory bowling were another.

  • landl47 on August 4, 2013, 22:27 GMT

    I'd have no problem with the Ashes tests being umpired by non-neutral umpires. I have great regard for Australian umpires and I'm sure that decisions made by them (and by UK umpires) would be made without fear or favour.

    However, if non-neutral umpires were approved I can see a gradual erosion of the quality of umpiring as boards first suggested and then insisted on having umpires selected by them included on the panel for their home tests. The problems associated with that are what caused the move to neutral umpires in the first place.

    The removal of umpires Rauf and Bowden from the elite list and their replacement by an Australian and a UK umpire, while justified from a competence perspective, has led to an imbalance in umpires available for England/Australian tests. The solution is to train more non-Aus/UK umpires, not to go back to non-neutrals.

  • tahalateef on August 6, 2013, 20:00 GMT

    We need to keep neutral umpires.

  • tahalateef on August 6, 2013, 19:59 GMT

    @HemangaR: My friend what I am saying is that cameras used by the broadcasters to cover matches use more than 500 FPS (Frames Per Second). However it is not possible to broadcast to live audiences at that FPS of 500 +. In that aspect you are right that they would broadcast to the TV viewers at 25 to 29 FPS and if you record that video and run it in slow motion you would get the ball traveling a half meter to one meter between each frame, just as you mentioned. However, whenever the feed and replays are requested by the 3rd umpire to make decisions or for hot spot etc. the video recording provided is the one on 500 + FPS. In that case the distance the ball travels between each frame is a few centimeters only.

  • on August 6, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    I don't see why the 12 elite umpire names are not put in a hat and four drawn.

    They are after all "elite".

  • on August 5, 2013, 16:54 GMT

    I agree with you Erantha, umpire Dharmasena made a right decision, and i dont know why commentators and the Australians making complain when they are on fore-front favouring DRS and I applauded the writer of this article to provide the truth.

    I do know that there have been lots of bad decisions against the opponents by English and Aussies umpires, it has been a norm to favour the hosting country....they are available on youtube.

  • on August 5, 2013, 16:25 GMT

    I would say whatever Dharmsena has done... Are blunders!... DRS is a good thing... but instead of all signs of KP not getting or Warner getting out.... "How can you go to the on-field call" .... It means you know the decision is wrong.....but still you want to go ahead for the on-feild call.... This is a disaster.... and shouldn't happen....

    I also think that they should look on increasing no. of reviews per innings... 2 are not sufficient!

  • YorkshirePudding on August 5, 2013, 16:23 GMT

    Maybe with the Neutral umpire panel being so small for England vs Australia games the umpires in the middle should be from the nations two nations such that (1 english and 1 Australian) with a well trained neutral monitoring the DRS and a neutral replacement umpire.

    Sadly most of the controversies have been due to misinterpretation of the DRS data available.

  • likeintcricket on August 5, 2013, 15:51 GMT

    It doesn't prove that Aus/Eng umpires are more efficient. It just shows the players disrepect for the officials and the rules regarding the games. I have seen English umpires makes number od mistakes during a single game.

  • CricketChat on August 5, 2013, 15:42 GMT

    Neutral Umpires and DRS along with HotSpot are a must that should be mandatory for all international cricket matches. This will remove the element of bias and human error to a great extent where players can feel secure. A few mistakes now and then will always occur, but that can't be a reason to go back to dark age.

  • 2MikeGattings on August 5, 2013, 14:49 GMT

    @Chris_P Let me remind you of this. In the 1970-1 Ashes series there were serious disputes about the umpiring quality, including accusations of bias, to such as extent that the England captain Ray Illingworth was hauled over the coals for dissent by the MCC. Lou Rowan, who umpired every game in the six match series, was at the centre of the controversy. One particular bone of contention was that no Australian batsman was given out LBW in the entire series. His warnings to John Snow for intimidatory bowling were another.

  • HemangaR on August 5, 2013, 14:32 GMT

    tahalateef: Mate I didn't say super slomo cameras doesn't exist. What I said is that cameras use to telecast cricket is only record 25 or 29 frames per second. That is why in run out decisions most of the time you miss the exact frame when bat passes the crease or ball breaks the stump.

  • HemangaR on August 5, 2013, 14:18 GMT

    Until the introduction of neutral umpires around 1993, (start with 1 neutral umpire) touring teams always complained about home team umpires. Specially when they tour India & Pakistan. Like to remind some ugly incidents like Gatting & Umpire Shakur Rhana in 1987 and Colin Croft & New Zealand umpire in 1979. Such incidents not happened after that except India's 2008 Sydney test. You can't avoid umpiring errors in any sport specially in team sport. Has to accept it as a part of the game. Important thing is umpires need to be impartial.

  • tahalateef on August 5, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    @HemangaR: I as an unprofessional photographer had a sports camera with 500 frames per second 20 years ago. I am pretty sure that the recent camera have an even better frame rate. Somewhere between 1,000 to 10,000 frames per second, I think is quite a realistic figure for the current cameras in operation.

  • on August 5, 2013, 12:04 GMT

    HotSpot is simply not working. When SA and NZ played the commentators were trying to convince us that they could see something on the TV replays. There was nothing there. Mostly nothing is visible in this series unless the ball is given a great thump of the middle of the bat.

    Something has been changed in its set-up otherwise it is useless.

  • dilscoop_uk on August 5, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    @ willsrustynuts on (August 5, 2013, 8:59 GMT) couldnt agree more with your comments , ICC is becoming a joke because if the series involves India there is no DRS atall.

  • on August 5, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    Quote from above article "Snickometer, which is not part of the DRS, also backed up England's case". Now umpire Dharmasena made the correct decision according to DRS laws. Snickometer is not a part of DRS according to the article. So only the hot spot is. So Dharmasena is within the DRS laws as no hotpot was visible.

  • on August 5, 2013, 9:17 GMT

    The main tool for snick decisions have been the hot spot. Sound of a nick can come from WKs pads or anything else. To attack some of the best umpires base on this is a serious issue. If a Asian player did this the ICC would have taken disciplinary action.

  • willsrustynuts on August 5, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    Get rid of the technology not the umpires.

    Warne and Waugh used to bully the onfield umpires in such a shameful way that I was always amazed that no one bought them to task. Now we are led to believe that the DRS will make the players more respectful of the umpires but what we have seen from the Australians has been disgraceful. England havent been much better with their seemingly frequent visits to the match officials room and letters to the ICC.

    I refuse to spend any money on watching cricket anymore as I want to see some sport not forensic review of super slow-mo or hot spot. NOT INTERESTED.

  • sailorsupreme on August 5, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    England and Australia wish to wrest control of world cricket from the Asian countries. They wanted to promote DRS. India objected and the current bloopers have justified the BCCI stand. Now these blokes want Aus-Eng umpires and not neutral umpires which is clearly disrespectful of the international panel of umpires.

  • Nutcutlet on August 5, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    The use of non-neutral umpires comes into its sharpest focus in Ashes' series for the simple arithemetical reason that 8 out of the 12 umps on the elite panel are English or Australian. This imbalance is something that the ICC (that seldom sees further than its nose) has failed to address, but it could have seen it coming. Solution: to train, test & then promote umpires from the other countries to elite status. There should be a declared aim that each Test-playing country has a minimum of one & a maximum of 4 umpires accredited with elite status. This needs to be in place in short time, say 12 months. Effectively, this provides a pool of about 16 -20+ umps from whom a subset of 6 can be provided for any given series with the all-important 'neutrality tag'. In the meanwhile, an elastoplast solution is required to get over the current loss of credibility, confidence & competence to stand: let Eng & Oz umps take over for the remaining 7 Ashes' Tests. ECB & CA would issues NOCs, I'm sure!

  • Smithie on August 5, 2013, 8:44 GMT

    @Smithie - typo there - should read Non Neutral umpires. Ps publish correction.

  • HemangaR on August 5, 2013, 8:18 GMT

    I think re-plays have only 24 picture frames per second. That means when ball travels 20 yards in about 0.8 sec. (For spinner), there are about 18 frames in whole way. So pictures will not record when ball is passing the bat. One picture can be 1/2 meter before the bat and next one could be 1/2 meter behind the bat. Even there is a nick from the bat, still you can see day light between bat and ball. This is very much the case when the ball is turning square. Therefore don't believe everything you can see on TV is real. You can see helicopter rotors rotate in reverse direction in TV. Actually it is not. Reason is same, only limited no. of pictures recorded per second. So TV umpire is not the best person to decide nicks. He has to back field umpires decision if he doesn't have enough evidence to overturn the field umpire decision.

  • T.H.Farooqi on August 5, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    it is totlly system failure of I.C.C.First of all I.C.C. underestimate Mr.Aleem Dar,Billy Bowden,Russell Tuffin, over to Mr.Kumar Dharmasena, whos non confidence his own decison,but I.C.C anounced he is No.1 Umpire.Now the I.C.C. wrong decision resulted ashes umpiring faults.Always Aleem Dar No.1,Russell Tuffin No.2,Billy Bowden No.3,Asad Rauf No.4,Tony Hill No.5,Rod Tucker No.6,Neiljon No.7 and Kumar Dharmasena No.50 in the rank

  • Smithie on August 5, 2013, 6:01 GMT

    Neutral umpires by consensus of the two competing nations would work - has a familiar ring to it doesn't it. Not sure there would be too many takers from teams visiting the sub continent - perhaps Srini could explain why!

  • Sagay-Ed on August 5, 2013, 5:42 GMT

    "non-neutral umpires" - Sorry Mr. Prior. This will be the worst decision to be made for teams who tour England. Too many problems even with neutral umpires and DRS. How much more will it be if the umpires are non-neutral?

  • JoshPayne on August 5, 2013, 5:40 GMT

    They shoudn't have gotten rid of Billy Bowden, he was one of the best umpires!

  • on August 5, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    On-field umpires should be one each, third umpire should be from a third country "neutral". On-field umpires will essentially became just entertainment with new technology anyway. Also third-umpires shouldnt be on-field umpires but umpires that have technical knowledge of video usuage.

  • Niketh2000 on August 5, 2013, 4:56 GMT

    Well really if you look carefully, you can see the tiniest of marks on the bat after the ball passed Warner's bat, but really even snicko gave a very small disturbance, which I don't think could have been picked up by the English really.

  • IAS2009 on August 5, 2013, 4:32 GMT

    if England and Aussies agrees on home umpire it should be OK i guess, each country can have one of their best umpires on the test and no DRS, let see how it goes. Neutral umpires is the best thing done by ICC.

  • jango_moh on August 5, 2013, 4:28 GMT

    we had a lot of issues with hotspot when india came to eng in 2011... there were quite a few decisions which left indian fans frustrated!! im glad atleast the other fans /players are stepping out of their adamant views and atleast talking about DRS's flaws!!!, we need constant review of DRS, that is the way it will imporve.... i still hate the idea of ball tracking though... unless it takes the pitch conditions into consideration!!!!!

  • Insult_2_Injury on August 5, 2013, 4:20 GMT

    This Warner one has just highlighted how muddy this DRS thing has become, especially in the hands of the players. When you 'want' a decision to go your way you'll see things that aren't there AND be coloured by the optomistic crowd reaction. It was clear that the 'hot spot' was on the BALL as it rotated through shot. What is clearly worrying about this is the lack of clarity of the technology and the raffle of the umpires' decision in the box. It was clear that Khawaja didn't leave a hot spot and was given out - it could quite easily have been Dharmasena's decision to give Warner on a hot spot that was in shot, but clearly not on the bat. What then? England happy, but yet another clear failure of the DRS system. Get rid of the DRS for the rest of the series and let the players take their chances. At least we can forgive umpire errors - like we have for a hundred years - without this flawed system taking centre stage.

  • on August 5, 2013, 3:20 GMT

    Is Matt Prior saying that non-English, non-Australian umpires are error prone?

  • HemangaR on August 5, 2013, 3:04 GMT

    Matt Prior didn't know about 1971 ashes tour in Australia where no English bowler was able get a LBW decision against Australian Batsman over 6 test matches.

  • mcj.cricinfo on August 5, 2013, 2:34 GMT

    Neutral umpires are a must. Because there are many close decisions made every match, and if there was a home umpire, there would be accusations of bias. And sadly, some of that mud would stick, which would be bad for the game of cricket as a whole. The ICC should simply pay the umpires more money, Then they won't have problems getting quality neutral umpires.

  • wouldlovetoplayagain on August 5, 2013, 1:07 GMT

    That headline is a bit misleading. Matt Prior appears to be open to the suggestion of Australian or English umpires officiating Ashes Tests. I think he would expect them to still be "neutral" - I don't think he is calling for actual "non-neutral" umpires!

  • orangtan on August 5, 2013, 0:13 GMT

    So, why not put one Englishman and one Australian umpire on the panel for the Ashes Tests in Australia, and they could officiate alternate Tests along with one of the neutrals.

  • AnotherCricketFan on August 5, 2013, 0:00 GMT

    Home umpires are NO-NO. We do not want another Rana_Gatting. Recall a comment that Mohd. Amarnath instructed his team mates never to get anything on pad during their tour of Pak. Don't know a rumor or not. In IPL and recent CPL (no DRS) the umpiring quality is HORRIBLE to say the least. But that is part of the game. Eng/Aus umpires are known for their bias too. Murali/Inzamm episodes stand out. They are tremendous pressure. I think the DRS is doing more harm than good to umpire confidence. The problem is multi fold. The first part is umpire quality and work load. Elite Panel has to be expanded to more members. And there should be a relegation system (like what happened to Rauf). And umpires other than run outs should not expect to rely on TV replays. They are taking the easy way out, IMO than focusing on the skills. Especially the no-ball spotting is a joke now-a-days. They get top $$$$ for their work. So they better be qualified as if we have no TV replay or Hotspot or Snicko

  • on August 4, 2013, 23:48 GMT

    Cricket is not the only game Technology is involved in, Tennis is an example. The review in tennis is so lovely and it looks that the design for cricket should be reviewed to bring it on par with tennis.

  • La_Bangla on August 4, 2013, 23:36 GMT

    ohh please, don't make an issue out of this. We all have seen how good the umpires are from Australia and England. By the way, all these controversies coming from DRS. And before we blame umpires, why not question accuracy of Hotspot etc?

  • David_Bofinger on August 4, 2013, 23:30 GMT

    I agree it would be crazy to go back to non-neutral umpires. We do after all have enough neutral umpires, it's just unfortunate that some of them - including the brilliant Aleem Dar - seem to be in a form slump at the moment.

  • rett on August 4, 2013, 23:05 GMT

    Prior is making sense. As an Aussie I would be happy with English umpires because they are generally very good. However as I can't see the ICC changing their policy, then having overseas umps in the county system would certainly improve the depth of talent on the international panel.

  • dsig3 on August 4, 2013, 22:59 GMT

    I am Australian and while I have been dissapointed with the umpiring so far I dont see how having Aus/Eng umpires would make the situation better. It will only make things worse. Erasmus and Dharmesena are usually ok when I have seen them in the past, not so sure about Hill though. If they start having Englishmen giving howlers in the present Australian climate we might start chucking the English into the ocean.

  • srriaj317 on August 4, 2013, 22:34 GMT

    Yeah right, where was your whinging voice of reason when Khawaja didn't hit the ball but was given out? And honest bloke? Give me a break! This was the guy who appealed for Khawaja's non-wickets and appealed for a stumping in the last Ashes when Johnson's foot didn't even leave the crease!

  • Dan9999 on August 4, 2013, 22:30 GMT

    Completely agree with those above, as soon as an honest mistake is made the person making that decision will have their allegiances questioned, however honest their intentions.

    Always impressed with Matt Prior when he speaks

  • Blokker on August 4, 2013, 22:29 GMT

    The problem is DRS, tranferring the errors from the field to the replay room is not working.

  • Alexk400 on August 4, 2013, 22:15 GMT

    Non neutral umpires...Another sydney fiasco...no need to play if umpires biased and decided to stick with home team. :) . Bad idea. Issue is improve DRS implementation. Protecting field umpires for their bad decisionis bad IDEA

  • on August 4, 2013, 22:12 GMT

    I believe Billy Bowden has been drafted in for the rest of the series as well. Billy is no longer on the "Elite" panel just the international panel which surprises somewhat. I know he has made some mistakes (and who hasn't, I am talking players and umpires) but he is no worse than Tony Hill , in fact I would have said he was better than Tony Hill.

  • Chris_P on August 4, 2013, 22:01 GMT

    @2MikeGattings. Really? I can't ever recall one verdict by an English umpire in an Ashes series that was ever questioned by either the Aussie players or media. In fact, every autobiography I have read by an Aussie specifically wrote up how professional & supportive they were of the English umpires. And by all reports, there were very few from England when they toured, hence why both sides are keen for it to return. The problems with non-neutrals came from a very specific area of the world cricket world.

  • testcric4ever on August 4, 2013, 21:32 GMT

    So, Matt Prior was convinced Warner hit it ergo there is something wrong with the technology? That's because Priot only ever appeals for a catch when bat is clearly involved. This is the same Matt Prior who was convinced Usman had knicked it in the first innings right?

  • rafe01 on August 4, 2013, 21:28 GMT

    If the nick was so fine that it didn't show on the hotspot then it seems reasonable for it to have been given not out. The sound on snicko might have come from something else. I think Prior should look at the Khawaja decision before he feels too aggrieved. The umpires aren't perfect and neither is DRS, especially if you use it poorly. As long as it's fairly implemented it will balance out. And I think its fairly implemented. There could be improvements, and I'm sure ICC will look at that.

  • Puffin on August 4, 2013, 21:24 GMT

    I remember non-neutral umpires erring on the side of favouring the national team then compensating the next series, too absurd to happen again.

    Can't we just have better umpires? Is that so hard?

  • on August 4, 2013, 21:23 GMT

    10 Ashes tests in a year, with three neutral umpires needed for each and only four neutral umpires to choose from... There is a serious problem here.

    What is it about the cricketing culture of other cricket-playing nations that means there aren't so many decent umpires?

  • 2MikeGattings on August 4, 2013, 21:03 GMT

    There is no turning back from neutral umpires. Their nationality would otherwise instantly become an issue as soon as any kind of human error crept in.

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on August 4, 2013, 21:02 GMT

    Matt Prior, the voice of reason. Honest bloke too. ICC should be looking to hire him as an Umpire as soon as he retires! Best user of the DRS system ever!

  • whatawicket on August 4, 2013, 20:54 GMT

    its taken over a 100 years + the get neutral umpires and i do not want home umpires.i can relate to so many times were the home umpires are not just poor, they were downright rogues. it was all the more galling when English umpires were the best and showed their neutrality. then we had to go away and get stuffed and not always by our opponents

  • whatawicket on August 4, 2013, 20:54 GMT

    its taken over a 100 years + the get neutral umpires and i do not want home umpires.i can relate to so many times were the home umpires are not just poor, they were downright rogues. it was all the more galling when English umpires were the best and showed their neutrality. then we had to go away and get stuffed and not always by our opponents

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on August 4, 2013, 21:02 GMT

    Matt Prior, the voice of reason. Honest bloke too. ICC should be looking to hire him as an Umpire as soon as he retires! Best user of the DRS system ever!

  • 2MikeGattings on August 4, 2013, 21:03 GMT

    There is no turning back from neutral umpires. Their nationality would otherwise instantly become an issue as soon as any kind of human error crept in.

  • on August 4, 2013, 21:23 GMT

    10 Ashes tests in a year, with three neutral umpires needed for each and only four neutral umpires to choose from... There is a serious problem here.

    What is it about the cricketing culture of other cricket-playing nations that means there aren't so many decent umpires?

  • Puffin on August 4, 2013, 21:24 GMT

    I remember non-neutral umpires erring on the side of favouring the national team then compensating the next series, too absurd to happen again.

    Can't we just have better umpires? Is that so hard?

  • rafe01 on August 4, 2013, 21:28 GMT

    If the nick was so fine that it didn't show on the hotspot then it seems reasonable for it to have been given not out. The sound on snicko might have come from something else. I think Prior should look at the Khawaja decision before he feels too aggrieved. The umpires aren't perfect and neither is DRS, especially if you use it poorly. As long as it's fairly implemented it will balance out. And I think its fairly implemented. There could be improvements, and I'm sure ICC will look at that.

  • testcric4ever on August 4, 2013, 21:32 GMT

    So, Matt Prior was convinced Warner hit it ergo there is something wrong with the technology? That's because Priot only ever appeals for a catch when bat is clearly involved. This is the same Matt Prior who was convinced Usman had knicked it in the first innings right?

  • Chris_P on August 4, 2013, 22:01 GMT

    @2MikeGattings. Really? I can't ever recall one verdict by an English umpire in an Ashes series that was ever questioned by either the Aussie players or media. In fact, every autobiography I have read by an Aussie specifically wrote up how professional & supportive they were of the English umpires. And by all reports, there were very few from England when they toured, hence why both sides are keen for it to return. The problems with non-neutrals came from a very specific area of the world cricket world.

  • on August 4, 2013, 22:12 GMT

    I believe Billy Bowden has been drafted in for the rest of the series as well. Billy is no longer on the "Elite" panel just the international panel which surprises somewhat. I know he has made some mistakes (and who hasn't, I am talking players and umpires) but he is no worse than Tony Hill , in fact I would have said he was better than Tony Hill.

  • Alexk400 on August 4, 2013, 22:15 GMT

    Non neutral umpires...Another sydney fiasco...no need to play if umpires biased and decided to stick with home team. :) . Bad idea. Issue is improve DRS implementation. Protecting field umpires for their bad decisionis bad IDEA