Thatscricket - Wish your star

Published: Sunday, February 11, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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Melbourne: Umpires will get eye and hearing tests from next year, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced here on Sunday.ICC president Malcolm Gray said, "The move had caused some mirth in cricketing circles, but the tests were part of a policy to make umpires more professional in line with the increasing professionalism of cricket's players and administrators."Gray said, "The ICC was looking at using two independent umpires for all the Tests around the world from April 2002, but there were scheduling and financial difficulties.""There was a feeling that the regulation of the game on the ground was the one area of the game that wasn't completely professional,'' Gray told a news conference in Melbourne.Gray said, "The ICC hoped to introduce a new system of appointing umpires and match referees from April next year and had plans for a panel of up to eight full-time match referees."An elite group of up to eight full-time umpires would be contracted to the ICC while a second group of emerging talent would include some 30 umpires. Each member country would be asked to appoint an umpires' manager and six had already done so.ICC chief executive David Richards said, "The council expected to spend more than two million dollars next year on the new umpiring system and was close to securing a sponsor for the umpires."(c) Reuters Limited. Click here for Restrictions

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