ICC Affirms Primacy of On-field Umpires, Outlines Appointment Process
He also confirmed the ICC’s process for appointing umpires for international matches in the wake of correspondence from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
Reflecting on Sunday’s conclusion to the fourth Test between England and Pakistan, which occurred when the home side was awarded the match after the visitors did not take the field at the end of the tea break, Mr Speed said: “It is hugely regrettable that the match did not end with a great finish in front of a full house.
“That is something that would have acted as an appropriate conclusion to a series full of exciting and absorbing cricket.
“However it is not the role of the ICC to overturn the decisions of on-field umpires, the people who are enshrined in the Laws of Cricket as the sole judges of fair and unfair play, the ultimate arbiters of the game.
“In this instance the decision made by Billy Doctrove and Darrell Hair to award the match to England was the correct one under the Laws.
“Subsequent to the end of the Test we have received a letter from the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board expressing his concerns about the appointment of Darrell Hair to matches involving Pakistan.
“The PCB has expressed those concerns verbally in the past but this is the first time they have put them in writing, even though they have previously been invited to do so.
“However, it remains the role of the ICC and not our Members to appoint umpires to Tests and one-day internationals.
The choices are made by the ICC’s Chief Executive together with the Chairman of the Cricket Committee, Sunil Gavaskar, following recommendations from the ICC’s Cricket department.
“The appointments are made without fear or favour and are based on the performances of the umpires in international matches.
“This process has been approved by the ICC’s Executive Board, which includes representatives of all the Test-playing teams, and has proved successful.
“It should be borne in mind that Friday’s Code of Conduct hearing is not a political, racial or religious matter but a cricketing one.
“The hearing will deal with two separate charges, one of them the issue of the Pakistan team allegedly changing the condition of the ball and the other that it allegedly brought the game into disrepute by remaining in the dressing room when the match should have resumed after the tea interval
“We have no vested interests in the outcome of the hearing but what we expect is that it will be fair and will illustrate our processes are suitably robust to deal with these issues,” added Mr Speed.
The venue and timings of Friday’s hearing, together with details of media access will be announced in due course.
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