Shepherd calls for more umpires

David Shepherd, the former Test match umpire, has called on the ICC to introduce more umpires into the Elite Panel to help counter umpire burn-outs.

Shepherd, who officiated in 92 Test matches and 172 one-day internationals, made the plea in light of umpire Mark Benson being taken to hospital suffering heart palpitations whilst umpiring the second Test match between South Africa and India.

“The number of umpires should be increased for the panel,” he said.

“With independent umpires you are always away from home.

“The players at least get to play in Test matches at home but umpires are travelling all the time.”

Shepherd is concerned that with the elite panel down to nine members due to the dismissal of Darrell Hair in November, there is more strain on the umpires than ever before.

“It is tough for the players because they are playing high-grade cricket all the time and careers will not last as long as they did. I can see the same thing happening with umpires. There will be umpire burn-out,” he said.

“The guys are under so much scrutiny. Television is so good these days and so intrusive. There are 20 cameras at a game and that puts the umpires under so much pressure.”

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