The first Ashes 0219 Test between England and Australia at the Edgbaston ground in Birmingham is at a very exciting point, given that the home side has to chase down 398 runs on the last day to win the Test or bat out 90 overs to earn a draw.
This all due to the brilliant batting of Steve Smith, who scored twin hundreds and Matthew Wade, who scored his first Test century after two years. Australia amassed 487/7d in the second innings as the England bowlers couldn’t get inroads due to the absence of James Anderson. However, a bigger role was played by the two on-field umpires Aleem Dar and Joel Wilson.
Both of the elite panel umpires have performed horribly in the Test match which has seen more than 15 decisions combined from them being overturned by the third umpire Chris Gaffney. There have been even calls from Ricky Ponting and others to end the use of neutral umpires in Tests. Most of the focus has been on Wilson, who is umpiring his first Test after promotion to the elite panel.
Joel Wilson is a blind international cricket umpire, fan edits his Wikipedia page
So far, eight of Wilson’s decisions have been overturned on reviews and his umpiring overall has been abysmal, to say the least. Whether it is the pressure of officiating a match of such magnitude or the pressure put on by the bowlers and fielders, both Wilson and Dar have made some eye-catching mistakes in giving their decisions.
Day one was punctuated by four decisions being correctly overturned by third umpire Chris Gaffney and three that would have been had the review option been taken, Friday followed a similar pattern. First, the umpires failed to catch the edge of Warner’s bat on the first ball of the match itself and then Joe Root was given out caught behind when in fact the ball had hit the stumps on its way through to Tim Paine. A review cleared the matter as Root smiled in relief.
This has led to a fan editing Joel Wilson’s Wikipedia page and adding the word ‘Blind’ to the introduction of his biography. It reads “Joel Sheldon Wilson is a blind international cricket umpire from Trinidad and Tobago” and here is the screenshot of the edit.
Joel Wilson. (Photo Source: Wikipedia)
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting even calling to bring the tradition of having neutral umpires to an end. At present, umpires are only allowed to stand in Tests providing they do not hail from one of the countries involved. This significantly restricts the number of officials available for the Ashes, given seven members of the ICC’s 12-man elite panel are English or Australian.
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