Srinath to officiate Lanka-South Africa series

Published: Wednesday, July 19, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Dubai:Javagal Srinath will finally be seen in the Match Referee's role when he takes charge of the Sri Lanka-South Africa Test series later this month.

According to an ICC release here yesterday, the former Indian spearhead will officiate in both matches of the two-Test series, at the Sinhalese Sports Club starting on July 27 and at the P Saravanamuttu Stadium beginning on August 4.

Leaving no stone unturned in his preparation, Srinath spent the past week at Lords for the England-Pakistan Test match, alongside the Emirates ICC chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle, watching how the former Sri Lanka captain did the job.

Madugalle said, ''Javagal is the third new match referee I've worked with after Chris Broad and Roshan Mahanama and what we are trying to do in each case is provide the new official with a proper induction into the role, as you would in any organisation.

''The idea is that when he undertakes his first assignment he has an understanding of whats required,'' he said.

Srinath, however, shadowed Madugalle through pre-series meetings with the England and Wales Cricket Board with ground inspection and meetings with the umpires and the captains and officials of both teams to run through playing conditions.

Then, on match days, Srinath observed Madugalle as he ran through the daily routines, working with the umpires to ensure the Test match progressed smoothly.

''We are not trying to reinvent the wheel but an exercise like this not only ensures that a new match referee is properly prepared but also allows us to ensure there is a greater potential for consistency in any decisions that need to be made,'' said Madugalle.

''It is a two-way process as well because Javagal, just like any new match referee, comes to the role with fresh ideas and a new perspective and that helps me too,'' he added.

A grateful Srinath said, ''I have had to learn pretty fast but Ranjan has been very helpful, going into detail about all the processes I have to be aware of, and this week has been a very good preparation for me.

''We have gone into the micro-details of the game, right from the pre-series rituals and meetings through to the actual conduct of the game, the forms that need to be filled in, the monitoring of umpires and players -- it all requires constant vigilance,'' he said.

''It was natural that, up until now, I had a players perspective but this past week has seen my approach shift and now my views are more rounded and neutral, as they should be in this role,'' Srinath added. Srinath will work alongside two members of the Emirates Elite Panel of umpires in Sri Lanka, with Mark Benson and Billy Bowden standing in both Test matches.

Srinath will then be replaced for the ODI tri-series that follows as his native India is the third team involved, and Emirates Elite Panel match referee Chris Broad will take charge with seven matches taking place between 14 and 29 August.

Benson will stand in the first three matches of the tri-series and Bowden will then take over for the last four, including the final. In those ODI matches, each ICC umpire will be joined by an appointee of Sri Lanka Cricket.

Scotland, Ireland and the Netherlands will go head-to-head in ODIs in August as part of the European Championships in Glasgow and these matches will all be overseen by Emirates ICC Elite Panel match referee Roshan Mahanama.

The umpires standing in the three games will be Tony Hill, from the Emirates ICC International Panel of umpires, and Paul Baldwin, a member of the ICC Associate and Affiliate International Panel.

Baldwin from Germany will become the fourth umpire from the new panel that provides a pathway to the top for officials from the ICCs 87 Associate and Affiliate members, to stand in a ODI after Roger Dill from Bermuda, Indonesias Shahul Hameed and Subhash Modi of Kenya.

The five-match Zimbabwe-Bangladesh ODI series that begins on July 29 will be overseen by Emirates Elite Panel match referee Mike Procter, with Ian Howell from the Emirates International Panel of umpires standing in all games. He will be joined in the middle by umpires appointed by Zimbabwe Cricket.

Canada will play four ODIs in August, two each against Kenya (5 and 6 August) and Bermuda (19 and 21 August) and Emirates ICC Elite Panel match referee Jeff Crowe will be charge of them all. The two umpires for those matches will be Daryl Harper, from the Emirates Elite Panel, together with Roger Dill.

The match referee for the three ODIs between Kenya and Bangladesh, now scheduled to take place in August (12, 13 and 15) is Roshan Mahanama from the Emirates Elite Panel and the umpires will be Krishna Hariharan from the Emirates International Panel and Subhash Modi.

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