Three World Cup winners and one Indian umpire in Sundaram Ravi were Friday named among the 22 match officials for the league stage of the mega event beginning on May 30 in the United Kingdom. Sixteen umpires and six match referees have been finalised for the 48-match tournament, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced. Ravi once again will be the only Indian officiating in the tournament. He had recently received a barrage of criticism, including from India captain Virat Kohli, for failing to spot a no-ball from Sri Lanka pacer Lasith Malinga in an IPL game last month.
The opening match between hosts England and South Africa at The Oval will see three World Cup winners officiating. David Boon will be the match referee, Kumar Dharmasena one of the two on-field umpires and Paul Reiffel the third umpire. Bruce Oxenford will be the other on-field umpire and Joel Wilson the fourth official for the match. Boon was a member of the Allan Border-led Australia side that won their first title in 1987, Dharmasena was part of Arjuna Ranatunga’s champion team of 1996 and Reiffel was a World Cup winner for Australia under Steve Waugh in 1999.
Others officiating during the tournament will be: Chris Broad, Jeff Crowe, Andy Pycroft, Ranjan Madugalle, Richie Richardson (all match referees); Aleem Dar, Marais Erasmus, Chris Gaffaney, Ian Gould, Richard Illingworth, Richard Kettleborough, Nigel Llong, Ruchira Palliyaguruge, Rod Tucker, Michael Gough, Paul Wilson and Ravi (all umpires). “It is a tough job with the eyes of the cricketing world on every decision, but this group of 22 is the very best from around the world who will rise to the occasion. I wish them all the very best,” said Adrian Griffith, ICC Senior Manager umpires and referees.
Madugalle, the most experienced match referee, will be officiating in his sixth World Cup, while it will be the fourth for Broad and Crowe. Umpire Dar will be officiating in his fifth World Cup and it will be the fourth and last for Gould, who has announced his retirement after the tournament. Gould, 61, who was England’s wicketkeeper in the 1983 World Cup, has officiated in 74 Tests, 135 ODIs and 37 T20Is. The appointments for the semi-finals will be announced at the end of the league stage and those for the final will be finalised after the semi-finals.