India vs England: Rohit guns for neutral umpire, says ‘they can also travel like players’

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India vs England: India opener Rohit Sharma believes that the ICC should allow neutral umpires to travel with the players to officiate in matches in bilateral series. After cricket resumed after almost a year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, umpires from the host country have been officiating in all the matches.

But Sharma believes neutral umpires could also stay in a bio-secure bubble and travel with players on overseas tours. “That can be an option. If players can travel, the umpires can travel as well. I don’t see any reason why umpires cannot travel. You know, make them quarantine as well, make their life difficult as well (laughs),” Rohit said in a virtual press conference on Wednesday, ahead of India’s 1st T20I match against England in Ahmedabad.

India vs England: Rohit guns for neutral umpire, says ‘they can also travel like players’

However, Rohit praised umpiring in the recently concluded Test series against England. Umpires Nitin Menon and Virender Sharma had 81% of their decisions right — something that was missing in the previous home series in India.

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“The umpiring in this Test series was brilliant. All three or four umpires who were part of the series did a terrific job, wasn’t easy because of the nature of the pitch,” said Rohit.

“They have to consider so many things before making a decision, ball was turning square it was bouncing as well sometimes ball was going straight. So I thought considering those factors, I think they did a terrific job,” he added.

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However, Rohit is not the first one to bat for neutral umpires travelling with the team. Last year, India pacer Jasprit Bumrah also wanted them to travel with the team.

“It’s unfortunate that umpires are not able to travel but then it’s something that I don’t have the power of changing it. We try to focus on things that we can change and that’s the only thing our team is focusing on,” Bumrah said ahead of the Australia Test series.

India vs England: Rohit guns for neutral umpire, says ‘they can also travel like players’