ICC's Elite Panel is expanded March 5, 2004

Mahanama and Jeff Crowe among new match referees

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Roshan Mahanama and Jeff Crowe are among the four new inductees in ICC's Elite Panel of Referees, while Wasim Raja's contract has not being renewed. The panel of four match referees has been expanded to eight, with Chris Broad and Alan Hurst being the other new inductees. Ranjan Madugalle retains his position as the chief of the panel, and Gundappa Viswanath, Clive Lloyd and Mike Procter get an extension.

Malcolm Speed, ICC's chief executive, explained why the expansion was necessary. "The ICC Match Referee plays a critical role in ensuring that international cricket is played both within the rules and within the spirit of the game," he said. "Expanding the Panel to eight gives us a deeper pool of former international players with a strong feel for the game who will be able to apply their knowledge when making judgments about on-field events. Moving to eight referees also provides the ICC with the flexibility needed to meet the international schedule over the coming 12 months."

Speed said that there were many applicants for the new posts. ""It was very pleasing to speak to a number of very well qualified applicants for these positions from around the cricketing world. In the end we had many more applicants than positions available and for the ICC this is a strong position to be in. Unfortunately, for some people the strength of the field meant that they missed out on contracts on this occasion. Despite the individual disappointment, it means that the ICC has been able to pick the best available candidates to take on this critical role for international cricket."