Mumbai, July 18 -- Looks like the International Cricket Council (ICC) and its elite panel of umpires are in a fix for the Ashes. With the umpires coming under pressure post the DRS fiasco during the first Test at Trent Bridge - the body admitted that the umpires had erred on seven occasions - the same set of four umpires will be officiating during the whole series.
The current panel of elite umpires, twelve in total, has five Englishmen and three Australians.
So effectively, taking into account the neutral umpire rule for Test matches, only Aleem Dar, Kumar Dharmasena, Marais Erasmus and Tony Hill are qualified to officiate in the series.
Aleem Dar, a former umpire of the year, failed to notice a glaring edge of Stuart Broad at Nottingham after which the left-hander went on to support Ian Bell in a partnership that helped England set a challenging target. The quartet will also stand during the return leg of the Ashes later this year in Australia.
The previous panel had Kiwi Billy Bowden and Asad Rauf, accused of aiding in fixing. The duo were replaced by Paul Reiffel and Richard Illingworth in the current panel.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.