July 9, 2001

Cammie Smith appointed match referee for Coca Cola Cup

Rex Clemenetine

Cammie Smith has been appointed as the match referee for the forthcoming Coca Cola Cup between Sri Lanka, India and New Zealand and the three-match Test series between Sri Lanka and India.

The 68-year-old Bajan, a former West Indian wicketkeeper batsman, is no stranger to Sri Lanka. He officiated the three-match Test series between Sri Lanka and Australia and the AIWA Cup that preceded that series in 1999.

Smith also visited Sri Lanka last year as the official ICC delegate to inspect the Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium and controversially gave the green light to it hosting it's inaugural one-day match against England in March 2000.

Smith has a reputation as one of the more lenient match referees in the world, which may be a relief to some of the Sri Lankan players who spent an inordinate amount of time and handed over a considerable proportion of their match fees to Match Referee Hanumant Singh during the ill tempered England tour.

Cammie Smith, however, has attracted criticism for his leniancy. He officiated in the heated three-match Test Match series between Australia and India earlier this year and was widely slated by the Indian media for letting off Michael Slator with a warning after an ugly finger-wagging incident with umpire Shrinivas Venkatragavan after a catch was disallowed.

Steve Buckner and Dave Orchard will be the independent umpires in the Tests. Buckner, who was here last year to stand in the first and the final Tests between Sri Lanka and Pakistan, will stand in the first two Tests while Dave Orchard, who officiated the last Test between England and Sri Lanka this year, will stand in the final Test.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka is yet to name the officials who'll stand in the matches. When contacted by CricInfo, Director Umpiring, K.T. Francis said that the names of the officials are yet to be approved by the Interim Committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL).