ICC to reintroduce neutral umpires soon, says ICC chairman Greg Barclay: Greg Barclay, International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman, has recently pointed at the callback of the neutral umpires for the test series held across the globe. The cricket governing body was forced to allow home umpires to officiate in Test matches due to restrictions posed by the dreaded COVID pandemic since 2020.
However, the ICC chairman shied away from making a concrete statement regarding the reintroduction of the neutral umpires, nor did he wishes to provide any date due to operational issues.
“I think in the COVID days, the home umpires got some exposure to stand for Test umpiring. It split things a bit wider. If you look at the stats, you can see that there was a pretty much thereabout the teams’ performances than what we had the neutral umpires,” Barclay said.
Barclay confirmed that the issue was discussed in the board meeting held recently and the neutral umpires will soon begin officiating.
“We are now the other side of the COVID and we are reintroducing the neutral umpiring arrangements which was decided in the board meeting we had a couple of weeks ago. We will see neutral umpires back up and running again. I can’t give you the date due to operational issues but soon.”
Several questions have been raised by cricketers due to blunders done by the home umpires in officiating a test match. To reduce the number of wrong decisions, the ICC, earlier, decided to temporarily increase the number of DRS in test cricket to three, so that each team gets a fair chance to challenge the umpire’s decision.
With neutral umpires set to take the baton once again, the DRS is expected to be reduced to two.
The ICC is optimistic that with stadiums buzzing with the cheer of the crowd, they will soon be able to reinstate the neutral umpires to officiate in the test match to create transparency in deciding the result of the match.