Thatscricket - News - ICC panel of elite umpires from 2002
Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Post your views
London: The International Cricket Council (ICC) responded to concerns over the standard of Test umpiring by announcing on Tuesday that a panel of full-time professional officials will be created. ICC president Malcolm Gray refused to say who or indeed how many would be on the panel although he did use eight as an approximate figure. But he did say that below the top tier there would be a second division of 25 umpires. Under the new system, expected to be start in April 2002, umpires will be constantly assessed and receive international contracts. Another change is that two neutrals will stand in Test matches although the current system of one home umpire and an overseas official will be used for One-day games, where presently two home officials often take charge. "We intend the elite number to be eight or something close to it and they will be fully contracted to the ICC on two-year contracts," confirmed Gray, following a two-day ICC Executive Board meeting at Lord's. "They will be doing the vast majority of the work and will be supplemented from the international panel." Umpires will be selected by new ICC chief executive Mal Speed and chairman of the cricket playing committee, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar. They will make their judgements based on reports from over the past four years by international match referees and captains. Umpires will be paid a retainer fee based on the cost of living in their own country - so a South African would not be paid as much as an Australian - but match fees will be universal regardless. The ICC also confirmed that the use of technology in making decisions would not be extended beyond present limits.