Durban:The International Cricket Council's (ICC) decision to replace umpire Steve Bucknor for the third Test between India and Australia is "a big mess" that world cricket could not afford, according to former West Indian great Clive Lloyd.
"I find it strange that (the ICC) now makes a sudden change, as it creates a dangerous precedent," the South Africa media on Wednesday quoted Lloyd as saying. He also wanted to know if Billy Bowden, who replaces Bucknor, would also be replaced if he made mistakes.
Supporting Lloyd, manager of the touring West Indies side here, was South African coach Mickey Arthur.
"I just think allowing something like this is playing with fire. What message are they sending out with it?" Lloyd was quoted as saying by the Afrikaans daily Beeld.
"The whole situation which has now developed in Australia is a big mess and something that world cricket definitely does not need," the cricket legend said.
Arthur agreed that a dangerous precedent had been created.
"Does this now mean that we can ask for an umpire to be removed from the panel if we don't like him? Where will it all end?" asked Arthur.
Bucknor, who was replaced after his erroneous umpiring cost India the Sydney Test by 122 runs, has had several controversial issues in South Africa as well.
During series against England in 2004 and against Australia in 2006, he angered both sides with his rulings on weak light.
Considered one of the best umpires in the world, Bucknor also did not stand in the inaugural ICC Twenty20 World Championship here last year.
Regarded as one of the most influential and authoritative figures in world cricket, Lloyd is a strong supporter of using more technology to help umpires resolve unhappiness over decisions.
Lloyd has called for umpires to get three chances to consult the television umpires if he is unsure of a decision: "No umpire will easily get more than three decisions wrong in a test. If he therefore can resolve any doubt that he may have over borderline decisions by using the camera, it will solve all the problems.
Defending countryman Bucknor, Lloyd said: "I know of no umpire who would cheat a side deliberately, especially not Steve Bucknor, and I'm not saying that because he is also a West Indian.
"By replacing umpires, you don't resolve the problem. Eventually you'll have no one left if you replace everyone who makes a mistake."