Melbourne: Australia and England have been exploring the possibility of having umpires from their own country for the forthcoming Ashes series.
Test matches are officiated by neutral umpires drawn from an Elite Panel of the ICC but the two top ranked teams wanted to make sure the high profile series had the best men irrespective of their origin, news reports said on Sunday.
The Age, quoting a Cricket Australia spokesman, said that the Board was already in touch with the ICC on the subject although a formal request was yet to be put in.
"It's one of those issues that is frequently discussed socially. Australia and England are the two top-ranked sides in the world, and by chance the top-ranked umpires in the world... won't be able to umpire in that series," Peter Young of the CA was quoted as saying.
"In a perfect world, it would be great for a series that will not only determine who wins the Ashes but could decide the world No 1 ranking to be officiated by the world's top-ranked umpires."
Simon Taufel is one of the three Australians on the ICC Elite Panel -- the controversial Darrell Hair and Daryl Harper being the other -- while Mark Benson is the lone Englishman.