Prior calls for umpiring changes

05 August 2013

Matt Prior

Matt Prior says he'd be happy for Australian and English umpires to officiate over the Ashes as one potential solution to improving the decision-making debacle that's marred the series.

The England wicketkeeper said DRS was still the way forward for cricket, but emphasised the system was pointless unless the technology and the people using it can come up with correct calls.

A series of howlers and confusing inconsistencies have raised question marks over the quality of HotSpot technology, and anger over unacceptable human error in the third umpire's interpretation of the video and audio evidence provided to them.

Marais Erasmus, Tony Hill, Kumar Dharmasena and Aleem Dar are the only four international umpires eligible to officiate in the back-to-back Ashes series, with the rest of the ICC panel members either English or Australian.

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Prior said the only thing that mattered to frustrated players was that correct decisions were being made.

"I honestly don't care where the umpires are from as long as the right decisions are made," he said.

"I think that is the most important thing at the end of the day that decisions are correct.

"Aussies, England or anybody, all you want is the right outcome at the end of the day.

"Once it goes up to the third umpire the decision that comes out has to be the correct decision.

"Whether the technology needs to be looked at or how they use it, I don't know.

"But for the players at the moment that is the biggest frustration."

England were filthy on day four when they were convinced David Warner nicked Stuart Broad in the 10th over.

Tony Hill turned down their appeals, and when England reviewed, there was no evidence on HotSpot for the decision to be overturned.

However, that didn't stop England making their anger obvious.

Players stood around for several minutes remonstrating with the on-field officials in another ugly look for a game that's always prided itself on respecting the umpire's call.

Technology is making that an increasing impossibility.

"There was disbelief because he hit it and that's why we referred it and when you are that sure and it is still given not out it is quite frustrating," said Prior.

"It's cricket at the moment. There wasn't any evidence and that is frustrating."

Prior said England would be happy to retain the Ashes as a result of a rained-out day five.

The keeper denied England had overstepped the mark in their go-slow tactics on day four, which included slow over rates and regular substitutions for fielders needing "treatment".

Prior said umpires had enough to worry about in the current climate.

"At no point did we want to be taking it too far," he said.

"I don't think we bowled too slowly. But obviously we're not going to be racing through our overs. It's a balancing act."

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