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Great contest spoiled by umpiring howler


During a high-profile test series, umpiring is always bound to be in the spotlight – more so if decisions are as bad as the one Aleem Dar made during the crucial first Ashes test between England and Australia at Trent Bridge.

Members of the elite panel who officiate in high-profile test matches are highly paid. The financial rewards they earn bring about an expectation of professionalism – and rightly so. Umpires at the highest level have a tough job. They are always under scrutiny.

Due to the advancement of technology and the review system, every mistake an umpire makes is magnified. Hence they can be forgiven for getting difficult decisions wrong. They cannot, however, afford to make blatant, obvious mistakes that influence the outcome of test matches.

How Aleem Dar missed the caught behind of Stuart Broad is beyond me. He must have had a complete lapse of concentration. The edge was obvious and the deflection massive.

The only reason why Stuart Broad stood his ground was that Australia had used up all their reviews. He would never have taken on the review system. Had he done so he would have been embarrassed.

As it turns out, Broad played the system and due to the incompetence of the umpire, got away with it. Stuart Broad's father is a match referee and well and truly on the other side of the fence. I wonder what he made of the whole incident.

The unfortunate event was an embarrassment all round. No one came away from the situation covered in glory. It is such a pity that an incident like this one that should have been avoided detracted from a high-quality game of cricket.

Will there be a consequence for Aleem Dar because he made a massive mistake? Probably not, although there should be. Let's hope we don't see any more howlers like the one witnessed in this test match.


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