Legendary umpire Dickie Bird has slammed the use of technology in cricket, saying the power of decision-making should remain with on-field officials as the game will lose its charm if this authority is taken away from them.
"Umpires do make mistakes but this is the part of the game. What has happened is that the machines have stumped the umpires these days, which is indeed unfortunate," Bird told the 'News One' channel in an interview.
"People have contrasting views over the use of technology but I believe in the old school of thought. On committing an error an umpire and his performance is judged and criticised from many quarters which adds to the existing pressure on him," he noted.
"I don't like all the authority being taken away for the field umpire. By doing so, the game is losing its charm."
The 78-year old Bird supervised 66 Test matches between 1973 and 1996. His comments come at a time when the ICC has strongly defended the use of technology to assist umpires through the Decision Review System.
The contentious issue is expected to be discussed at the chief executives meeting of the ICC later this month in London.
Bird was all praise for the performance of the England team in swamping India in the Test series. Bird said he regarded the present England side as the best after the team of 1953.
"This team has a bunch of quality quick bowlers which is essential to win a test match against a good team. In my view it's the best side after 1953. Not to forget the coach Andy Flower who has turned it on for England with his skills. To me, he is the best coach in the world right now," claimed Bird. PTI Cor PM