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David Boon to become ICC match referee

Brydon Coverdale

May 24, 2011

Comments: 9 | Text size: A | A

Australian selector David  Boon talks on his mobile phone, Nagpur, October 27, 2009
David Boon is preparing for a change of roles © Getty Images
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David Boon sees his new role as an ICC match referee as a way to help uphold the spirit of cricket and grow the game. Boon has stepped down from Australia's selection panel to take up his new position at the ICC, where he will replace his fellow Australian Alan Hurst, who is retiring after nearly seven years as a match referee.

Boon has also resigned from his full-time job as general manager of cricket operations with Cricket Tasmania, and from July he will travel the world as a match official. After learning the ropes with the chief referee Ranjan Madugalle during the England-India series, Boon's first series in charge will be Zimbabwe's home matches against Pakistan in September.

"It is a big change. It's a new challenge," Boon told ESPNcricinfo. "I've been involved in the administration of Tasmanian cricket for 12 years and with Cricket Australia as a player and then a selector for 21 or 22 years. To be involved in world cricket is very exciting. The role to me is one that typifies a lot of the things I believe in and the traditions of the game. The game should be upheld with the meaning that surrounds it.

"It has to be portrayed to the cricketing public in the right light for it to advance and grow, and this position has a role in achieving that. It is a game that crosses over cultures and joins countries. It's played in vastly different religions and cultures, but the bottom line is that everybody plays cricket. It's really important for world cricket that there's strength among nations and among players in continuing to grow the game."

The move to the ICC will be a major change for Boon, 50, although he will be used to the touring lifestyle, having travelled extensively with the Australian squad as both a selector and as a batsman who played 107 Tests and 181 one-day internationals. Boon has been on Australia's selection panel since 2000, and his departure will leave Cricket Australia searching for a replacement to join Andrew Hilditch, Greg Chappell and Jamie Cox.

His job as a selector hasn't always been easy, and the panel has copped its share of criticism over the past few years, especially for its handling of Australia's spinners. However, Boon said he was proud of his achievements with Cricket Australia, as well as with his home state; he will leave Tasmania in possession of the Sheffield Shield after they won the title in 2010-11.

"I've enjoyed the last couple of years of those challenges [as a selector]," he said. "I think Australian cricket is still very strong. We've got some really good young players coming through. I honestly think that the future is bright.

"I've been very proud to have been involved in both Tasmanian and Australian cricket. Tasmanian cricket has very much established itself, it's grown and got very strong. I'm very proud to have led a cricket department down here during the most successful on-field period that Tasmanian cricket has had. It's a bit sad to leave but I've been involved in Tassie cricket for 38 years and it'll never be far from my thoughts."

Boon will be the only Australian on the seven-man ICC panel with the departure of Hurst, 60, who will leave the game having stood in 45 Tests and 102 one-day internationals. Hurst's final matches in charge will be the third England-Sri Lanka Test in June and the five ODIs that follow.

"I have been privileged to work with a group of highly skilled and dedicated referees and umpires and have made a lot of friends in the international cricket community," Hurst said. "I am very appreciative of the opportunity that Cricket Australia and the ICC have offered me and it will remain one of the valued times of my life. I now look forward to moving on to the next phase in my life, spending more time with family and pursuing a range of interests and hobbies."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 9 
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Posted by Christopher on (May 27, 2011, 11:39 GMT)

I will be interested to see what the inquiry makes of Boon's role in the selection of so many non performing tasmanians.While he has admiration and respect as a player and administrator on behalf of tasmania,there was a clear conflict of interest in his maintaining the duel role.Krezja,Doherty,Hilfenhaus,Paine ahead of better keeper batsmen and Ponting horribly out of form for almost 4 years have limited the test sides chances,effectively rendering it several men short each time it faces an opponent.I understand that tasmania has previously had limited test representation,but for Cox,Boon and Ponting to push sub-standard candidates and effectively ruin their countries'chances is a disgraceful breach of professional ethics.Players like North and Hussey were given far too many chances and along with Beer,were used to conceal the tasmanian issue.If only Hodge,Hughes,David Hussey,Hauritz,Stuart Clarke,O'Keefe and Copeland had received a similar courteousy.The story might be so different.

Posted by bharath74 on (May 24, 2011, 18:14 GMT)

Goeff Marsh & David Boon best opening pair

Posted by Steve on (May 24, 2011, 13:36 GMT)

Boon was a hard working cricketer with great work ethics and achieved lot of success given his limited natural abilities. He would have been better off teaching and imparting these same traits to aspiring cricketers from associate nations like, Afghanistan, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Namibia, UAE, etc. rather than wasting his precious energies on a purely admin job like ICC match referee. He would have been better served as high performance coach or some capacity like that with ICC.

Posted by Dummy4 on (May 24, 2011, 13:04 GMT)

It is good to have match referees who sons are not playing test or international circket. Please replace Chris Broad as he shouldnt be on the panel. Boonie is a straight and tough chap, he'll be good for the game.

Posted by Nazrudeen on (May 24, 2011, 8:42 GMT)

Many great former cricketers in Australia but few involve ICC

Posted by khadeer on (May 24, 2011, 8:41 GMT)

I hope the ICC makes Hilditch too as a refree. With Hilditch and Boon out the selection of Aussie sides will be better

Posted by Nazrudeen on (May 24, 2011, 8:22 GMT)

Good news for cricket world i am sure his experiance will help to make better cricketing world.

Posted by Garry on (May 24, 2011, 7:37 GMT)

Don't mess with Boonie! Hope CA look at the herd of white elephants in the room and make some big decisions, Boon has given great service to Australian Cricket and will do well as a match referee but hope to see more changes in the set up besides Boon and Mike Young.

Posted by Fazal on (May 24, 2011, 6:54 GMT)

Hope somebody like Steve Waugh or Mark Taylor with the necessary skill, knowledge & experience will be appointed for this position at a crucial time when aussie cricket is on the decline mainly due to some very poor decisions made by our cricket selectors in the recent past.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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