ICC''s rules need changing, says Bird

LONDON: Former English test umpire Dickie Bird has joined the chorus of people imploring the International Cricket Council (ICC) to change their rules to ensure the best officials are appointed to the biggest series.

Under ICC regulations, umpires are banned from standing in matches involving teams from their own countries; ensuring “neutral” umpires oversee matches.

"I don''t know whether the ICC or the ruling body has got the best umpires, but you must get the best umpires, especially to do an Ashes series when there''s so much at stake," Bird told British TV.

"Decisions can cost a test match or a player''s career. It looked at times as if the pressure got at the two umpires out in the middle."

Bird, 76, said he sympathised with the umpires who did control the Ashes series because of the extra scrutiny they were under but said their jobs would be made easier if more video replays were allowed.

"It''s not an easy job, it''s very difficult, but now there are electronic aids so they should be able to get most of the decisions right," he said.