London: The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced details of the first appointments for its new panels of international match referees and umpires, an official press release said.
The schedule of assignments will see each of the five referees and eight umpires in action during an intense period of international cricket over the next month. ICC Six Nations Challenge: The ICC Six Nations Challenge tournament in Namibia (April 6 to 15) will be a first posting for new referee Wasim Raja. The former Pakistan all-rounder will take charge of the event that features ICC Associate member countries Canada, Holland, Kenya and Namibia preparing for the 2003 World Cup, in competition with 'A' teams from Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. Elite Panel umpire Rudi Koertzen will be the senior field official and will stand with umpires from each of the participating countries. Sharjah: Gundappa Viswanath will referee the Sharjah tournament between Pakistan, Sri Lanka and New Zealand (April 8 to 17), together with Elite umpires David Shepherd, Russell Tiffin and Srinivas Venkataraghavan. West Indies vs India: Chief Referee Ranjan Madugalle has been appointed for the five-Test and five-ODI series between the West Indies and India in the Caribbean, beginning on April 11 in Guyana. Daryl Harper and Asoka De Silva will stand in the first three Tests, followed by David Shepherd and Russell Tiffin for the fourth and fifth. Zimbabwe vs Australia: Clive Lloyd will be the match referee for this series of three ODIs and two Test matches, beginning on 13th April. Dave Orchard will be the elite panel umpire for the One-day games. He and Venkat will stand in both Tests. Pakistan vs New Zealand: This will be Mike Procter's first appointment since joining the referees panel. The rearranged tour by the Kiwis will feature three ODIs (April 21, 24 and 27) and two Test matches. Steve Bucknor will stand in each match and will be joined for the Tests by Rudi Koertzen. "These appointments mark the start of a new era of full time match officials for international cricket. Each of the 13 members of the new panels will go into these series very well prepared, following their intensive induction at the recent umpires and referees conference in Cape Town," ICC CEO Malcolm Speed commented. "They have been selected for their skills, experience and standing in the game and I have every confidence that they will bring new levels of authority and consistent decision making to the game," he added. The new umpiring and refereeing panel system is effective from April 1, but for practical reasons the ongoing series between South Africa and Australia as well as New Zealand and England will continue to operate under the existing panel system, the ICC release added.
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