Rotate Test umpires through day: O'Keeffe

Kerry O'Keeffe has called for umpire rotations to avoid fatigue and howler decisions.
Kerry O'Keeffe has called for umpire rotations to avoid fatigue and howler decisions.

Kerry O'Keeffe has made a radical suggestion to rotate umpires through roles each day in Test matches to ease fatigue and improve the standard of decision making.

The former Test legspinner's suggestion comes after Australia's opening Ashes Test win at Edgbaston, a match also notable for the number of incorrect decisions by the umpires in the middle.

Joel Wilson and veteran Aleem Dar had a combined 10 decisions overturned, with the former equalling the record (eight) set by India's Sundaram Ravi and Sri Lanka's Kumar Dharmasena.

"Umpire tiredness is a factor. Why don't we pick four umpires and rotate them?" O'Keeffe said.

"The players get tired late in the day ... and these guys (umpires) are making errors (so) get them off the pitch after an hour-and-a-half and put them in front of the (DRS) screen," he told The Back Page on Fox Sports.

O'Keeffe also said barring umpires from standing in matches played by their home country, designed to maintain neutrality, was an outdated rule.

"It's such an old school theory now, that they'll be biased," he said.

"Not anymore - there's too much electronics."

Wilson (Trinidad and Tobago) and Dar (Pakistan) are two of just five members of the International Cricket Council's 12-strong elite panel of umpires who can stand in an England-Australia match.

But O'Keeffe said relaxing the rules to allow for home umpires would mean highly regarded Richard Kettleborough (England) and Bruce Oxenford (Australia) would be eligible to umpire in the Ashes series.

"The bottom five are in charge of this series - they're going to make mistakes," he said.

Australian Associated Press