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Atherton slams ICC for poor umpiring standards


LONDON, March 24 (AFP) - Former England captain Mike Atherton branded the International Cricket Council (ICC) "a disgrace" Saturday following the recent Test series against Sri Lanka which was blighted by poor umpiring.

England's victory was overshadowed by a string of poor decisions which affected both sides and had Atherton involved in a finger-pointing bust-up with Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkarra and umpire Rudi Koertzen in the second Test.

And the England opener feels it is high time the game's governing body sorted the situation out and radically improved the performance of match officials.

Speaking on Channel 4's Test Cricket Special Saturday, Atherton said: "In a game which generates millions of pounds, it is a disgrace the ICC have allowed umpiring standards to fall so low.

"They must get together a group of competent and professional young umpires with recent Test experience.

"Only when you have that right can you look at whether the use of new technology can be expanded. And I'm not convinced the new technology is good enough to help much more at this stage.

"But I agree if a player decides he is not going to walk, he shouldn't show dissent to any decisions that go against him."







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