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Third umpire appeal rule will benefit Asian players: Asif Iqbal

Written by: Staff

London, June 29 (UNI) Former Pakistan captain Asif Iqbal has rubbished the ICC's claim that umpires in the Elite Panel are the best in the world and said Pakistan should not oppose the players' referral to the third umpire rule as it is most likely to benefit the Asian players, who have been at the receiving end of a majority of dubious decisions.

''I am surprised to the point of being speechless by the reported statement of the PCB chief to the effect that Pakistan will not support the proposal for referrals to the third umpire in the ICC meeting next month,'' Asif wrote in his column for 'The News'.

''I am convinced that over the years the Asian countries have consistently had the short end of the umpiring stick. The appointment of the so-called elite panel of umpires has not changed the situation -- in fact, if at all there has been any change, it has been for the worse,'' he added.

Criticising the poor representation of Asian umpires in the panel, Asif said the ICC claim that the umpires in the panel were the best in the world was nothing but a ''load of rubbish''.

''Eight out of ten of the elite umpires are westerners with only two Asians when the population of the Asian cricket playing countries would be about ten to fifteen times that of the western cricket playing nations. Yet, this is not even remotely reflected in the panel,'' he said.

Asif asserted that the third umpires appeal rule should be ratified as it would allow the Asian players to have fair decisions as on-field umpires in most cases have reserved their poor decisions for the cricketers from the sub-continent.

''We have seen some of the most outrageous decisions coming from the panel In fact, I do not think that the number of howlers has in any way decreased since the appointment of the elite panel and with no umpire yet being removed from the panel as a direct result of poor performance, I do not see how things can be expected to improve,'' he added.


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