Former West Indies captain Richie Richardson will join the ICC's elite panel of match referees as a replacement for the retiring Roshan Mahanama.
However, Richardson will not take up his new position until early next year, when he completes his current tenure as manager of the West Indies team. Mahanama last week announced his intention to step down from the ICC's elite panel at the end of the year after more than a decade in the role.
The appointment means Richardson will become the first West Indian to serve as a match referee in Tests since Clive Lloyd, who retired in 2007. He also follows fellow West Indians Jackie Hendriks, Cammie Smith, Everton Weekes and Clyde Walcott, who all served as match referees in the past.
"I am excited and honoured to have been selected for one of the most important jobs in cricket," Richardson said. "Having been on either side of the fence, first as a player and then as an administrator, I think I have the experience and insight to help me contribute positively alongside some of the finest and most experienced match officials."
Richardson played 86 Tests from 1983 to 1995, as well as 224 one-day internationals. He was appointed team manager of West Indies in January 2011 and will continue to serve in the role until the end of the Test tour of Australia, which concludes with the Sydney Test from January 3 to 7 next year.
"Until the end of the Australia tour, I will remain fully committed and focused on my current assignment as the West Indies cricket team manager and I would like to thank the West Indies Cricket Board for its support over years as well as the encouragement it provided to me in taking up this new role," he said.
The ICC's elite panel of match referees is made up of seven former cricketers who officiate in Test matches, and Richardson will join Ranjan Madugalle, Chris Broad, David Boon, Andy Pycroft, Javagal Srinath and Jeff Crowe. The ICC's general manager of cricket, Geoff Allardice, said Richardson would be a valuable addition to the panel.
"Richie is one of the greats of the game, who is admired for not only his accomplishments as a batsman but also the way he captained the West Indies when he embodied traits such as integrity, leadership and sportsmanship in his dealings both on and off the field," Allardice said.
"He is very familiar with the demands of international cricket through his experiences as a player, captain and now team manager, and he will bring a fresh perspective to the role. On behalf of the ICC, I congratulate Richie on his appointment and look forward to working with him. We have no doubt that he will make a strong and important contribution to ensuring the game continues to be played in the right spirit."