Since the formation of the ICC Associate Panel Umpires the need has arisen to provide a platform for umpires to improve themselves and become eligible for consideration of inclusion.

To this end the first Umpires Seminar will be hosted by the ICC Africa Regional Office at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria, South Africa from the 5th - 8th October 2005.

Under the auspices of the United Cricket Board's First Class Umpire. Mike Gajjar the 10 umpires will be trained for three days and write an exam on the fourth. Mike Gajjar said: "I am honoured to have been asked to instruct the umpires at this event. I am confident that the knowledge gained will be beneficial and the exchange of ideas will assist the umpires when they return to their countries".

The RDM for Africa, Hoosain Ayob, also expressed his encouragement for the event: "A hearty thanks to the United Cricket Board of SA for allowing Mike to assist. This is just the first of many courses which we hope to hold to assist in strengthening the Umpire Ranking for the Africa Region and forming an Africa Panel of umpires to officiate in all ICC Events in Africa".

The Umpires will arrive tomorrow and will be given a report as well as a ranking based on their performances at the end of the seminar.