South Africa in Sri Lanka, 2006 July 19, 2006

Srinath set for first stint as match referee

Cricinfo staff

Javagal Srinath is all set to begin his new stint as a match referee © Getty Images

Javagal Srinath, the former Indian fast bowler, will make his debut as a ICC Match Referee during the two-Test series between Sri Lanka and South Africa starting on July 27. He is the latest entrant to the Elite Panel of match referees, which now has eight members.

Srinath spent a week with Ranjan Madugalle, the match referee for the recent Lord's Test between England and Pakistan, observing him on the job. Srinath accompanied him through the regular routine of ground inspections, briefing the captains, umpires and other officials on the playing conditions, and attended pre-series meetings with the England Cricket Board (ECB).

"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", Madugalle told reporters. "The idea is that when he undertakes his first assignment, he has an understanding of what's required."

Madugalle stated that the purpose of such an induction is also to ensure more consistency when decisions are made. In a recent interview to Cricinfo, Ehsan Mani, the former ICC president, said that the ICC was taking steps to ensure that different referees don't use different yardsticks when handing out penalties. Madugalle also added that these inductions are beneficial to the senior referee as well.

"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.

Srinath was satisfied with his preparations, and appreciated Madugalle for helping him settle into his new role. "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," said Srinath. "It was natural that, up until now, I had a player's 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 will work with umpires Mark Benson and Billy Bowden in both Tests, in Colombo, starting at the P Saravanamuthu Stadium on July 27, and the second Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club, starting on August 4.