England not keen on umpire idea

The England Cricket Board (ECB) appear unlikely to support the Australian Board’s plan to use the best umpires available for the Ashes, regardless of their nationality.

A spokeman for the ECB said “The ICC have a well-established principle of appointing neutral umpires for Tests.

“It’s a process that the ECB are extremely comfortable with.”

There are currently 10 umpires on the International Cricket Council elite panel and because of the current rules Australian umpires Simon Taufel, Darrell Hair, Daryl Harper and England umpire Mark Benson could not be considered.

Peter Young, a spokesman for Cricket Australia, said that a contest between the two best teams in the world should have the best officials adjudicating.

“It’s one of those issues that is frequently discussed socially. Australia and England are the two top-ranked sides in the world, and by chance the top-ranked umpires in the world … won’t be able to umpire in that series”.

The umpires during the 2005 Ashes were Billy Bowden from New Zealand, Rudi Koertzen from South Africa, Aleem Dar from Pakistan and Steve Bucknor from the West Indies.

The first of five Tests starts on 23rd November at The Gabba in Brisbane.

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