Six Indians, including match referee Javagal Srinath, on Thursday found a place in the ICC’s 31-strong Playing Control Team for next month’s World Twenty20, which will also feature women match officials for the first time.
“The strong Playing Control Team includes all the seven and 12 members of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees and Elite Panel of ICC Umpires, respectively, as well as 10 members of the Emirates International Panel of ICC Umpires and two members of the ICC Associate and Affiliate Panel of International Umpires,” the ICC said in a statement.
Srinath will be the referee in the March 8 tournament-opener between Zimbabwe and Hong Kong in Nagpur. He will lead the Playing Control Team, which also includes Aleem Dar and Ian Gould as on-field umpires, Marais Erasmus as TV umpire and Richard Illingworth as fourth umpire.
The umpires’ panel for the March 8 to April 3 tournament includes two female umpires — New Zealand’s Kathleen Cross and Claire Polosak of Australia. The two were also involved in the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier in Thailand.
“Their appointments in the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 comes as the game’s governing body continues to place an important emphasis in recognising that cricket is a game for all, and hopes that this will inspire more women across the globe to become involved in officiating and participating in cricket.”
Cross will make history in Chennai on March 16 when she will become the first female umpire to officiate in the ICC World Twenty20 by umpiring in the women’s match featuring Pakistan and Bangladesh along with Anil Chaudhary.
Two days later, Polosak will make her debut at a global event when she will perform on-field duties along with Vineet Kulkarni in the New Zealand-Ireland women’s match in Mohali on March 18.
Cross became the first woman to be named in an ICC umpires’ panel when she was added to the ICC Associate and Affiliate Panel of International Umpires in 2014.
She has previously umpired in the Women’s World Cups in 2000, 2009 and 2013, the Women’s World Cup Qualifier in 2011 and the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier in 2013 and 2015.
In recent years, Kathy has also worked at men’s senior events including the ICC World Cricket League Championship Divisions 3 and 5.
Australian Polosak recently made history when she was appointed as third umpire for the Matador One-Day Cup to become the first female to officiate in a List ‘A’ Australia competition.
She was also the youngest official at the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015 in Bangkok.
The seven Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees hold a combined experience of 113 ICC World Twenty20 matches between them.
Of the 24 umpires, half will be making their ICC World Twenty20 tournament debuts. These are — Anil Chaudhary, Johan Cloete, Kathleen Cross, Simon Fry, Chris Gaffeney, Michael Gough, Vineet Kulkarni, CK Nandan, Ruchira Palliyaguruge, Claire Polosak, Chettithody Shamshuddin and Joel Wilson.
The complete list of match officials is:
Match referees: David Boon, Chris Broad, Jeff Crowe, Ranjan Madugalle, Andy Pycroft, Richie Richardson and Javagal Srinath
Umpires: Anil Chaudhary, Johan Cloete, Kathy Cross, Aleem Dar, Kumar Dharmasena, Marais Erasmus, Simon Fry, Chris Gaffaney, Michael Gough, Ian Gould, Richard Illingworth, Richard Kettleborough, Vineet Kulkarni, Nigel Llong, Ranmore Martinesz, C.K. Nandan, Bruce Oxenford, Ruchira Palliyaguruge, Claire Polosak, Paul Reiffel, Chettithody Shamshuddin, Ravi Sundaram, Rod Tucker and Joel Wilson.