LONDON – Trinidadian umpire Joel Wilson has found himself at the centre of a firestorm of criticism after his error-strewn display in the opening Ashes Test at Edgbaston, where he equalled the record for the most overturned decisions in a match.
The 52-year-old was only last week appointed to the ICC’s Elite Panel of Umpires but did little to enhance his reputation with eight decisions which were overturned by DRS during the contest which Australia won by 251 runs on Monday.
Legendary former Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne described Wilson’s officiating, along with that of his standing partner Aleem Dar of Pakistan, as “horrific from ball 1”.
“England are bowling very well. The umpiring has been horrific from ball 1 …,” Warne tweeted on day one when between Wilson and Dar handed out seven bad decisions, five of which were eventually overturned.
Two were not challenged after David Warner and James Pattinson opted not to resort to DRS during Australia’s first innings.
Wilson had given three of the five overturned decisions.
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting said the umpires’ performance highlighted a need for a rethink by the ICC on the use of neutral umpires.
“I would like to think the game has come far enough now for the game to not have neutral umpires,” he said following day one.
“People might say that with all the technology we’ve got now, it doesn’t matter that much. But it’s not a good spectacle when pretty obviously wrong decisions are made.
“There’s been a lot of negativity about the DRS over the years, but we’re pretty lucky that we had it last night (first day).”
Wilson also had a decision overturned on day two, three and four before England captain Joe Root twice successfully challenged decisions in the space of 29 balls on the final day, to take the beleaguered official’s tally to eight.
He joined Sri Lankan Kumar Dharmasena and Indian Sundaram Ravi who previously shared the unwanted record.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan also slammed Wilson’s performance, tweeting: “When Joel Wilson gives you OUT .. You just review it .. #Fact #Ashes.”
Wilson will serve as television umpire for the second Test at Lord’s starting next Wednesday but will
stand in the third Test at
Headingley bowling off August 22.
One of the Caribbean’s leading umpires, Wilson has officiated in 14 Tests, 63 One-Day Internationals and 26 T20 Internationals. (CMC)
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