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Wisden Cricinfo staff
Wasim Bari, the chairman of Pakistan's selection committee, has launched a scathing attack on the 63-year-old David Shepherd, according to the BBC. The fierce criticism followed Pakistan's narrow defeat in the Videocon Cup final, with Bari claiming that the umpire's mistakes had cost Pakistan the game and suggested that age had caught up with him.
"Shepherd's umpiring decisions were like target killing and cost Pakistan the final. It's time for the inaccurate Shepherd to retire," Bari was reported by AFP as saying. "His decisions were not only doubtful but disgraceful. The Pakistan team management must mention with protest in their match reports."
The decisions that rankled Bari were given against Inzamam-ul-Haq and Yousuf Youhana. While Inzamam scored only seven runs, Youhana was adjudged caught-behind on 43, with Pakistan 32 runs away from victory.
Incidentally, a few days ago, most international captains agreed with the ICC's plan to implement more technology to ease umpires' burden. Inzamam was one of them, and he was quoted, "Yes, I'm very much in favour, because the game of cricket has become very professional, small errors have been affecting results. So much cricket is being played and umpires have been under tremendous pressure due to the heavy workload on them."
But Shepherd didn't just come under fire from the Pakistan Cricket Board. Omer Kureishi, a cricket columnist, was scathing about the umpire's performance: "Shepherd has crossed his retiring age and I have always advocated that all umpires standing at international level must go through medical tests. He is an old man and his judgment in the final was very poor."