Procter encouraged by associates' display

Following Netherlands' victory in the ICC Tri-Series Mike Procter, the match referee for the series, has spoken of his encouragement at the display of the associates ahead of next year's World Cup.

"It has been interesting seeing you play," he said. "I've seen good coaches and good captains. There have been well thought-out changes in the field and in the bowling.

"The batting has been a bit disappointing, as none of the players who scored between 40 and 60 went on to make a big score. Do the basics right [such as] running between the wickets and keeping sharp in the field.

"I will be interested to see how the leading associates play in the next World Cup." Based on what he had seen, he believes the teams - in general - will do better than in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa. Procter added that the ICC has provided more assistance to the associates, citing the work done by people such as Richard Done, the ICC High Performance Development Manager.

Procter talked briefly about the 'Spirit of the Game', the ICC Code of Conduct and the reporting process which, he felt, was important to be understood by the players. Procter had "heard some remarks from batsmen [complaining] about umpiring decisions. It is important for players to remember their responsibilities under the Code of Conduct and the Spirit of the Game.

"I was impressed by the guys enthusiasm for cricket," he added, "and looked forward to good results at the World Cup."

Some of the players in this tournament had first-class experience, which brought invaluable knowledge to inexperienced squads. David Hemp, the Glamorgan captain, brought flair and experience to Bermuda while Ryan ten Doeschate has learnt plenty from his time at Essex, albeit mainly as a one-day specialist.

"Standards gradually improve over time," said Richard Done. "There will be three months of hard work up to the World Cup. I will be interested to see the progress and results over the next few months."