ICC is all set to reintroduce Neutral Umpires

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ICC is all set to reintroduce Neutral Umpires

The ICC Chairman, Greg Barclay has revealed that the World Governing body is all set to reintroduce Neutral Umpires for the Test format. The ICC had to designate home umpires for the longest format of cricket because of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“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.

“We are now on the other side of the COVID and we are reintroducing the neutral umpiring arrangements which were 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.”

Under the new provision of neutral umpires, there will be two on-field umpires during the Test fixtures & one of them will be neutral. Meanwhile, the match referee & TV Umpire will be neutral & the fourth umpire will be a home umpire. On the other hand in the white-ball matches i.e. the One Day Internationals and T20Is will be officiated by the home umpires. The ICC have also appointed neutral match officials for the ongoing two-match Test series between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Barclay also spoke about the ICC WTC & feels that the tournament has helped the Test format to flourish abundantly.

“Now we are in the second cycle of ICC Test Championship. The first cycle was very successful. What we did at the ICC is to give more relevance and try to make them good context to maintain and drive to make it more successful,” he pointed out.

“Every country now has a chance to make it to the Test Championship final. If you look at New Zealand, we did that against the odds. There was luck along the way. Australia’s South Africa tour is an example. You will never know what is going to happen. It also ensures all the playing countries have a minimum commitment to all other teams and play Test cricket.”

“Test cricket is still a great part of the cricketing landscape. I know that T20 profile-wise stands at the top. Test Championship is a very much part of the strategy of maintaining all the teams get equal opportunity to play.”

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