Dubai, Jan 30: The International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced that New Zealand's Kathy Cross has become the first female to be named in an ICC umpires' panel, when she was added to the ICC Associate and Affiliate Panel of International Umpires for 2014 following the annual review and selection process.
Cross and Nigel Morrison have joined Sameer Bandekar, Mark Hawthorne, Wynand Louw, David Odhiambo, Buddhi Pradhan, Sarika Siva Prasad, Richard Smith, Ian Ramage and Courtney Young in the panel for 2014, ICC said on Thursday in a media statement.
The panel was named by the Associate and Affiliate Selection Committee, which comprises of Vince Van Der Bijl, ICC Umpire and Referees Manager; David Jukes, ICC Regional Match Referee; Brian Aldridge, a former Test umpire; Adrian Griffith, ICC Umpire and Referees Administration Manager; and Edward Fitzgibbon, ICC Development Events Manager.
The 56-year-old Cross was born in Taumarunui, King Country, and is now eligible for appointments to ICC World Cricket League Divisions 3 to 6, in addition to women's cricket.
Cross has previously officiated in the ICC Women's World Cup in Australia in 2009 and in India in 2013, as well as the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier 2011 in Bangladesh and the ICC Women's World Twenty20 Qualifier 2013 in Ireland. She is a member of the New Zealand Cricket Reserve Panel 2013-14, and was thrilled with her induction into the panel.
"I am absolutely delighted to have been selected to the ICC Associate and Affiliate Panel of International Umpires. Being the first woman on the panel is a great honour and I look forward to the opportunities this selection will afford me, and to working with the Associate and Affiliate panel."
Van der Bijl praised Cross' inclusion. "We are delighted with the inclusion of Kathy Cross in the ICC Associate and Affiliate Panel of International Umpires. She is an excellent role model for aspiring umpires and she has shown her umpiring prowess at the ICC Women's World Cup in Australia in 2009 and in India in 2013.
"Her appointment is another significant milestone in the ICC's Females in World Cricket Strategy and will hopefully lead to more high level female officials coming through the ranks," he said.
The only other change to the panel was the addition of Vanuatu's Nigel Morrison in place of Shahul Hameed from Indonesia.
Morrison has previously officiated in ICC World Cricket League Division 8 in Samoa in 2012 and ICC World Cricket League Division 7 in Botswana in 2013.
Van Der Bijl also paid tribute to Hameed, who served on the panel since its inception in June 2006: "On behalf of the ICC, I want to thank Hameed for his untiring service and contribution in making the ICC Associate and Affiliate Panel of International Umpires the strong and reputable unit that it is."
The umpires on the ICC Associate and Affiliate Panel of International Umpires can be assigned to ODI and T20I matches involving Associate and Affiliate Members, ICC Intercontinental Cup matches, ICC World Cricket League Divisions 3 to 6 and other Associate and Affiliate tournaments, as well as ICC Development Events.