|Lloyd: Handling the only controversy so far
Durban: The performance of the five Elite Panel Match Referees and eight Umpires will be “reviewed” at a three-day International Cricket Council (ICC) session in Dubai, in the first week of April.
“All 13 have a two-year contract, but there’s provision for a review on completion of 12 months,” informed chief Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle. However, while speaking to The Telegraph Wednesday morning, the former Sri Lankan captain declined to go into details.
Apparently, “inputs” from the ten Test-playing nations will be taken into account as also the ICC’s own “feedback”. It’s not clear, though, who exactly will oversee the review.
The Elite Panels have been in existence for ten months.
Madugalle, of course, is happy that the World Cup (so far) has seen only one instance of the Match Referee (Clive Lloyd) having to adjudicate on an alleged breach of spirit (the Rashid Latif-Adam Gilchrist controversy).
“Obviously, standards of discipline have been very good... One hopes that continues,” Madugalle remarked, adding that he himself didn’t have a “one-eyed perspective”.
But, has the Match Referee’s role been ‘diluted’ in that, now, only umpires can initiate moves to discipline a player' Madugalle chose to be diplomatic: “Well, today, a Match Referee takes a much wider view, covering more areas...”
Granting more powers to umpires is a fall-out of the Mike Denness problem, which marred the Indians’ last visit to South Africa, in late 2001.
Meanwhile, the ICC has clarified it is “standard practice” for its Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) to receive tapes of all World Cup matches. Further, it has explained what it described as “confusion” over the ACU seeking footage of the Sri Lanka versus Kenya game in Nairobi Monday.
The match ended in a shock defeat for the 1996 champions.
According to the ICC, “there was some confusion about the availability of the necessary recording equipment for the ACU to obtain footage in the usual manner. As a result, a request was made to the producers to provide additional copies of the same...”
In the ICC’s view, nothing “unusual” occurred.