ICC delivers no-confidence vote in West Indian umpires
By Tony Cozier In DHAKA
December 13, 2002
THE International Cricket Council (ICC) has delivered an unmistakeable vote of no-confidence in West Indian umpires by the exclusion of Billy Doctrove and Eddie Nicholls from the 11 members of its international panel chosen to augment its full-time so-called “eight” in the forthcoming World Cup in South Africa.
The Jamaican Steve Bucknor, one of the ICC’s permanent panel, is the only West Indian among the 19 named yesterday to officiate either as standing or umpires or television replay adjudicators in the tournament in February and March.
Another six, two from South Africa and four from ICC associate members, have been selected as off-field fourth umpires for the preliminary group matches.
Nicholls, 55, a police superintendent from Guyana, has stood in 17 Tests and 34 one-day internationals, several overseas. Doctrove, 47, a sports administrator from Dominica, has umpired two Tests and 15 one-day internationals, all in the Caribbean.
The ICC gave no explanation in a media statement as to the method of its selection except to note that each umpire had international one-day and, in some cases, Test-match experience and had undergone performance assessment.
“With more than 50 games to be played during the World Cup there will be a heavy workload for all match officials,” ICC general manager David Richardson said.
“The International Panel was created for occasions such as this, to supplement and support the eight full-time members of the elite panel,” he added.
Nicholls and Doctrove were undeniably below their best during last season’s home series against India and New Zealand, either standing in one-day internationals or adjudicating television replays.
But others, both in the elite group and those added for the Cup, have committed several well-documented errors of late.
Denis Lindsay, the former South African wicket-keeper, is the only addition to the five permanent match referees.