(BBC) Ashes umpires have been told to “stiffen up their act” after tensions mounted in the first Test between England and Australia in Brisbane.
Home captain Michael Clarke was fined for using an obscenity while warning James Anderson to expect a broken arm.
Former Australia wicketkeeper Ian Healy said: “Umpires are fairly insipid and don’t take on their responsibilities anywhere near enough.
“Maybe it’s time they stiffen up their act.”
Healy, who played 119 Tests for Australia between 1988 and 1999, feels that umpires must take more of an active role in calming potential spats.
He told Cricket Australia: “I like an aggressive spirit but if it gets too personal and too violent in its intentions it needs to be looked at.
“The line in the sand that we talked about is in the preamble for the laws of cricket. That’s how you play cricket.
“It’s all written and it’s all there and if umpires are of the opinion that it’s not really being adhered to then they’ve got to step in.
“The umpires heard it all. If it was happening both ways from both sides then I hope that [Clarke’s] one was over the top compared to everything else that happened in the game.”
Former Australia spinner Shane Warne has claimed that Clarke was responding to comments made by Anderson towards George Bailey towards the end of the opening Test, which Australia won by 381 runs.
Neutral umpires are used for Test matches but only four of the 12-man elite panel are not Australian or English – Aleem Dar and Kumar Dharmasena, who stood in the first Test, Marias Erasmus and Tony Hill.