Hussain calls for action on umpires

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The Independent Online

Nasser Hussain did not quite lambaste the umpires after England's one-day defeat yesterday. He is much too diplomatic for that, but nor could he hide his disappointment at the lbw verdict which might – or might not, of course – have cost his side the match.

"It was not my team who were the losers today, it was the game that lost certain things," he said. "That's for the ICC and others to look at, not me, the England captain."

In this he was being ever so slightly disingenuous. If international captains cannot have influence on future policy, who can? He was also a shade off the pace. The ICC is already overhauling its umpiring structure and from April one neutral umpire will stand in all one-day internationals instead of two from the home country, as has been the long-time practice.

The decision to which Hussain referred – that which dismissed Marcus Trescothick when he was in full and possibly decisive flow – was not a good one. The ball pitched markedly outside leg stump and umpire S K Sharma's error was compounded by the fact that a ball from right arm over the wicket to a left-hander is likely to do so.

Hussain said: "We have a match referee's report which we have to fill in but the contents will remain private." But don't expect to see Mr Sharma's name on the scorecard much in future.

"You saw two sides trying their utmost and we're not going to dwell on it, otherwise the tour will spiral downwards," Hussain concluded. "We shall look at the positives." It will be one of his more difficult captaincy tasks to persuade his team.

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