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Umpires panel soon


HAYDN GILL

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IN KEEPING with the trend of the International Cricket Council, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) will establish a senior panel of umpires and match referees for regional competitions.
The regional governing body will also move in the direction of utilising younger officials.
“We are all aware of the state of umpiring in the Caribbean and we have recognised the increasing importance of the match referee in the management of the game,” WICB chief executive officer Dr Ernest Hilaire said in giving the thinking behind the move.
It will significantly reduce the number of umpires standing in regional tournaments but it is hoped to lead to improved standards.
In addition to the senior panel, which is expected to include about 12 umpires, there will be an emerging panel that will stand in junior competitions.
Under current practices, each of the six territorial associations nominate about six umpires to officiate in regional first-class competitions, while junior tournaments are presided over mainly by umpires from the host country.
“The board has decided to establish two umpiring panels. They will provided with a monthly retainer/stipend to ensure that they can focus on developing their skills,” Hilaire said.
“The senior panel will be populated with some established umpires and almost half of that panel will be umpires under the age of 40 – to give them an opportunity to develop and to get more experience.
“We will do away wit the old model of every territory recommending umpires.”
Hilaire was updating the media on key decisions taken at a WICB directors meeting at the Accra Beach Hotel on Sunday.
He also revealed that more attention would be paid to match referees.
“We don’t have that core of established match referees throughout the region. It is almost seen as a part-time exercise,” he said.
“We need to do away with this. We will have a standing panel of match referees who will be trained throughout the region. “
The training for umpires and match referees will got going this month when the officials will benefit from sessions in Jamaica with the assistance of the ICC.
The WICB will also be undertaking training for video analysts from around the region in Jamaica in the coming days.
“Each territorial board should have a video analyst that can assist the players and the coaches with using technology to better understand how the game is unfolding and improve their performance,” Hilaire said.
“This will also assist us in being able to do something that we ought to be doing, which is getting raw data of other international teams and being able to codify it, and store it properly so we can use it for our purposes.
“All other countries have gone that route, but we do not have the trained competence in the region to do so.”

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