ICC announces umpires and referees for World Cup
Four groups of officials, each comprising four umpires and two match referees, will oversee the group stages of the World Cup. The 16-member panel of umpires, announced by the ICC on Friday, include Steve Bucknor, who will be appearing in his fifth World Cup, Simon Taufel, who has been the ICC's Umpire of the Year three times in a row, and Rudi Koertzen who is six short of David Shepherd's career record of umpiring 166 ODIs.
Apart from the umpires panel the ICC also announced a seven-member match referee panel for the entire tournament. Interestingly, except for Mike Procter, who missed out due to his country's isolation years, the remaining six have all participated in the World Cup as a player. A notable exclusion from the list of match referees is Clive Lloyd, the former West Indies captain, who is currently the manager of the West Indies team. Lloyd has officiated in 133 ODIs as a match referee.
The umpires panel includes nine from the Elite Panel and the rest from the International Panel, and was decided by the ICC's Cricket Committee, chaired by Sunil Gavaskar, and Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive. The list of umpires for the later stages of the tournament will be announced in due course.
Shepherd's retirement in 2005 means that at least one umpire makes his first appearance in a World Cup final. Shepherd and Steve Bucknor stood in the last three finals - in 1996, 1999 and 2003. Bucknor will read the officials' oath on behalf of all umpires and match referees at the opening ceremony at Trelawny Stadium in Jamaica on March 11.
Commenting on the selections, David Richardson, the ICC's general manager, said that good performances by those in the International Panel should give them a chance of officiating in the Super Eight's as well as a case for promotion to the Elite Panel. "The 16 people really are the 17th team in this year's tournament and they will work just as hard as the players to ensure they perform to the highest possible standards," he said.
Each umpire will stand in two warm-up matches, which begin next week. Match referees will not officiate in any of these matches. Once the warm-up matches are over, all officials will take part in a two-day training and preparation workshop on March 10 and 11 and assemble in Montego Bay to attend the opening ceremony.
Nigel Llong, Suresh Shastri and Russell Tiffin, all from the International Panel, have been named as reserve umpires for the group stage of the tournament.
Umpires Mark Benson, Billy Bowden, Steve Bucknor, Aleem Dar, Steve Davis, Billy Doctrove, Ian Gould, Daryl Harper, Tony Hill, Ian Howell, Brian Jerling, Rudi Koertzen, Peter Parker, Asad Rauf, Asoka de Silva, Simon Taufel
Match referees Chris Broad, Jeff Crowe, Alan Hurst, Ranjan Madugalle, Roshan Mahanama, Javagal Srinath , Mike Procter