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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Simon Taufel's 100th ODI prompts thoughts on umpiring

A good Cricket Australia media release pays tribute to Australian umpire Simon Taufel who has just umpired his 100th ODI.

Simon, who because of ICC policies never officiates in Tests featuring Australia , is at 35 the youngest umpire to reach this milestone. Given the poor standard of Test umpiring we've seen here in recent years perhaps it's time to review the situation, and allow quality umpires like Simon to stand in Tests as well as ODIs.

I also can't see why three umpires can't rotate during a Test with, say, each standing on the field for two sessions of a day's play (the one not thus engaged would as now serve as the TV umpire). Not more than one umpire from each opponent should be on the match panel.

After seeing so many incorrect or doubtful decisions this year I also think that TV replays should be used to judge more types of dismissal. I know that this may increase delays (which the TV companies would appreciate as it allows more commercial breaks) but the third umpire should be instructed to give the batsman the benefit of the doubt if a decision is not clear from the first replay.

Enough for that for now. Congratulations, Simon. I hope (but don't really expect) to see you umpiring Tests involving Australia soon.

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