Thatscricket - News - Professional umpires may officiate soon

Published: Friday, March 2, 2001, 0:30 [IST]
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Chennai: International Cricket Council (ICC) president Malcolm Gray has said the ICC was hoping to constitute a fully professional panel of eight umpires with a back up of 25 younger ones by April 2001.Gray is here to watch the third cricket Test between Australia and India at the invitation of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president A C Muthiah.Gray said while many aspects of cricket including coaching and physical fitness were professional, the ICC was concerned about the fact that umpiring was still ''semi-professional''.This fully contracted ''umpires panel'' would see two neutral umpires officiating in a Test or One-day game, he said. ''Hopefully we will get through with this idea,'' Gray added.Presently errors in umpiring decision are being handled by the match referee. They have been doing everything possible, but the question is whether it could be improved upon, he said.The task before the ICC was to better their roles, provide better remuneration and raise their level, he observed. UNI

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