KARACHI: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday, in an unprecedented move, announced two different sets of match officials for the upcoming Test series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The normal ICC practice in short bilateral series is to nominate match referee for the entire duration and not more than three umpires who share the on-field and TV umpiring duties as per official nomination from the sport’s governing body.
According to a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) media release, the ICC confirmed the nomination of umpires and match referees for the landmark series, the first on Pakistan since the terror attacks on the Sri Lanka team during the second Test of the 2009 rubber in Lahore.
The England trio of Richard Kettleborough, Michael Gough and Richard Illingworth will take charge of the first Test at the Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi from Dec 11 to 15 with the first named on-field umpires and Illingworth to act as the TV umpire. The match referee of the series opener is former Zimbabwe batsman Andy Pycroft, while Pakistan’s Shozab Raza would be the fourth umpire.
Ahsan Raza, who was gravely injured in the attack 10 years but recovered to set the record of umpire standing in most Twenty20 Internationals recently, will be the fourth umpire for the second Test at Karachi’s National Stadium from Dec 19 to 23.
Ex-New Zealand batsman Jeff Crowe has been named match referee for the Karachi Test that would be officiated on the field of play by umpires Bruce Oxenford of Australia and Joel Wilson while Wilson’s West Indian colleague Gregory Brathwaite would be acting as the TV umpire.
Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2019