Five regional officials to be announced shortly May 23, 2008

van der Bijl named ICC umpires' and referees' manager

Cricinfo staff

Vince van der Bijl is the ICC's new umpires' and referees' manager © ICC
Vince van der Bijl, the former Natal and Middlesex fast bowler, has been appointed the ICC umpires' and referees' manager. Van der Bijl, who will "have overall responsibility for the management and smooth running of the umpires and referees section", will work under the board's cricket operations department and report to Dave Richardson, the ICC's general manager (cricket).

"I am delighted with Vince's appointment. He was a fine player who later became a successful businessman," Richardson said. "More recently, he has been working with Cricket South Africa [as general manager of cricket development), helping develop the next generation of players. He is hugely respected and very well liked."

Richardson said five regional umpires' managers would be named soon; they will work with umpires on both the Elite and International panels from their region as well as with visiting officials. "The five regional umpires' managers all have first-hand experience with the trials, challenges and rewards of umpiring at a high level. They all have credibility and respect in the cricket world and they know the issues that face umpires these days. I have no doubt these appointments will be good for the umpires and the game."

These managers will be supervised by the current umpires' manager, Doug Cowie, who will report to van der Bijl. He will "oversee the direct development, mentoring and coaching of the umpires as well as feeding back performance-related information."

The post of the regional umpires' manager has been created after a recommendation from the ICC umpires' task force, which met in London in September last year. The recruitment process began following the approval of the ICC board when it met a month later in Dubai.

"The task force conducted a survey of top umpires and the results showed us that we needed to provide speedier feedback and ongoing mentoring to them," Richardson said. "So one of the key recommendations was that five regional coaches be brought on board to provide support to our umpires and that is what we are doing now."