West Indian Umpire to stand in English First Class

ST. JOHN'S, Antigua -- When the English First Class Cricket Season gets underway in 2009, there will be an umpire from the Caribbean standing in some of the matches.  This is part of a new umpires exchange programme, an initiative of Tony Howard, Chief Cricket Operations Officer with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).

An English umpire will also be standing in a number of matches during the 2009 Regional First Class season.

The new umpires exchange programme came out of a proposal which was presented the International Cricket Council (ICC), which recognized that there was a challenge with umpiring in the Caribbean and that regional umpires were at a disadvantage when it comes to international appointments because of a lack of exposure and experience.

Howard’s proposal, which was also discussed by the Board of Umpiring Managers at their annual meeting in Dubai, was accepted by ICC and the West Indies was paired with England.

It is anticipated that the new exchange programme will be an on-going exercise and already, Howard is exploring further exchange opportunities with Australia and Bangladesh.

Howard commented: “We see this as an excellent opportunity to promote  cricket umpiring as a career in the Caribbean.”