The announcement of match officials for a series of such enormity is always news to which I look forward. We, especially I, have been ultra critical of many characters posturing around the world as members of the ICC's Elite Panel of umpires. Much to my pleasure Sri Lankan umpire Ashoka de Silva has been permanently dumped from the Elite Panel. But what about the likes of Rudi Koertzen, Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson?
Well, unfortunately Koertzen has been appointed to stand in the first two Tests of the latest installment of the India v Australia franchise. He will be partnered by Pakistan's Asad Rauf, if he can detach himself from his hair curler. Billy Bowden and Aleem Dar will join forces to officiate in the final two Tests.
However, it must be noted that the ICC is showing some signs of progress in its quality of decision making. Steve Bucknor's name is thankfully missing from the list of officials, as are the likes of Benson and Billy Doctrove.
While I feel somewhat for the gents in white after the introduction of the ridiculous referral system, it seems obvious to me (and therefore my criticism of their performance is justified) that such a dubious idea would never have passed muster had it not been for umpires' ineptitude in the first place.
I wonder what the odds are for a conspiracy theory where Aleem Dar manages to contract osteitis pubis and is conveniently subbed off the dreaded Bucknor? Any takers?
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