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Monday, 26 March, 2001, 15:30 GMT
Subba Row joins umpiring reform team
ICC president Malcolm Gray and chief executive David Richards
Senior ICC officials are pressing on with change
The International Cricket Council has asked former England batsman Raman Subba Row to help draft new proposals governing the recruitment and training of umpires.

Subba Row played 13 Test matches between 1958 and 1961 and is also a former chairman of the Test and County Cricket Board, now named the England and Wales Cricket Board.

He is an experienced ICC match referee, having officiated at 38 Tests and 112 one-day internationals.

The ICC currently has a list of 20 umpires, nominated by the Test-playing nations, with the exception of Bangladesh.

The proposal under consideration is to establish an elite panel of eight full-time umpires and eight match referees, who would officiate in most, if not all, Test matches around the world.

Appointment to this group would be purely on merit, reflecting the seniority and status of individuals based on, among other things, marks awarded by Test captains.

Another group of between 25 to 30 emerging umpires would be groomed to support, and in time join, the elite panel.

A similar number of full-time match referees would also be appointed.

"Raman is one of our most experienced referees and a highly respected figure who has been heavily involved in the game in senior positions over the years," said ICC chief executive David Richards.

"As a current member of the referees' panel, he is fully aware of the challenges faced by match officials in the contemporary game."

Sri Lankan umpire BC Cooray
BC Cooray: Criticised during the Kandy Test

The ICC's plans come against a background of umpiring controversy during the current series between Sri Lanka and England.

Peter Manuel, AV Jayaprakash and BC Cooray were heavily criticised over a number of incorrect decisions made during the first two Tests.

Sanath Jayasuriya and Graeme Hick both received suspended bans for dissent and four Sri Lankans were fined for excessive appealing.

Indian match refereee Hanumant Singh said it was the most difficult series he had ever been involved in.

"The players must realise they are the foremost guardians of the game and they have a responsibility to play the game the way it was meant to be played," he added.

The ICC has set a target date of April 2002 for the implementation of the new umpire and referee proposals.

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See also:

24 Mar 01 |  England on Tour
Atherton blames ICC
21 Mar 01 |  Cricket
Training the key for umpires
15 Mar 01 |  Cricket
Umpire changes draw closer
14 Mar 01 |  England on Tour
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14 Mar 01 |  Cricket
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09 Mar 01 |  England on Tour
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