The performances of umpires Aleem Dar and Joel Wilson have come under more scrutiny after another difficult day in the Ashes series opener at Edgbaston.
After 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.
Nathan Lyon's hopeful appeal for lbw against Rory Burns when the opener was on 21 was followed by brief discussion with captain Tim Paine but the decision not to review was taken.
However, subsequent replays showed the ball was spearing into the leg stump - a decision that cost Australia dearly with the unorthodox left-hander finishing the day 125 not out.
James Pattinson and Peter Siddle both thought they had dismissed Joe Root for nine and 14 respectively only for technology to once again intervene and rescue the England skipper from a wrong decision.
Pattinson and the entire Australian slip cordon was convinced Root had edged behind to Paine in the opening session of the day.
Wilson, hearing two noises, raised the finger but Root's review showed the ball had in fact clipped the bail, not his bat, and it had somehow failed to dislodge.
Dar then gave Root out when Siddle's delivery thumped into his pad but he failed to see an inside edge from the Yorkshireman's bat.
It became the sixth on-field decision to be overturned by Gaffney after just two days of the Test.
The performances of Dar and Wilson have led to increased calls for the ICC to scrap its neutral umpires system, which was introduced in 1994.
“This is now beyond a joke every decision being questioned and for good reason,” former Aussie player Darren Berry wrote in a tweet that was later deleted.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in my lifetime.
“Seriously the ability to make a substitution … in game must be introduced.
“It’s soul destroying for the umpires.”
So, if:— Theo Doropoulos (@TheoDrop) August 2, 2019
- pitching in line
- impact in line
is not considered out, then what the hell is?
That’s not even a marginal call. These blokes have had an absolute stinker. #Ashes #EngvAus pic.twitter.com/bygVwE2A32
The umpires have been ludicrously bad in this test match. Seriously substandard. #Ashes— Dominic Booth (@DomBooth19) August 2, 2019
The standard of umpiring in this first Ashes test#England v Australia is awful the worst decisions ever in a cricket test match by the most experienced umpires #disgrace 🏏— LLM (@lungelomoss1) August 2, 2019
Ricky Ponting calls for change
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting became the latest to add his voice to that argument, claiming the best umpires are missing out on the biggest series in the game.
English and Australian umpires dominate the ICC's elite umpires panel but are ruled out of officiating the Ashes due to the global cricket body's requirement for neutral nation umpires to control matches.
"I would like to think the game has come far enough now for the game to not have neutral umpires," Ponting told Cricket Australia's website.
"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.
"Surely (English umpire) Richard Kettleborough and the like would want to be umpiring the best series.
"The best umpires can end up missing out on all the big tournaments.
"It could force umpires into retirement a bit early."