Umpires claim ICC Panel not selected on merit

By Namal Pathirage

Senior cricket umpires have petitioned Sri Lanka Cricket that umpires named for the ICC Panel have not been done according to merit. The umpires whose names have been nominated to the Panel are: Asoka de Silva, Ranmore Martinets and Ruchira Palliyaguru.

These umpires claim that there are eleven umpires above the selected three who can be up graded into the ICC Panel. They claim that Asoka de Silva has not even come up for ratings and has not even taken up the ICC Panel Examination and that Ruchira Palliyaguru’s umpiring is way below standard.
The disgruntled umpires’ claim that they had requested to scrutinize the results sheet of the Umpires Examination from a senior cricket official but this official has said that the original result sheet cannot be traced and that it may have been stolen.

The unhappy umpires had then gone to the police to lodge an entry to the effect that the umpires’ results sheet has been lost. They had then complained to the President of the Interim Committee Upali Dharmadasa and that if no action is being taken they are even planning to go to courts in order to seek justice.

The entry to the police has been made by umpire Nishantha Waduge. The umpires claim that D.H. Wijewardena is a better choice than Ruchira Palliyaguru and all this is a big trick to hoodwink them.
They say that the former Umpires Committee headed by Ken de Alwis had only brought in this method to stage examinations for umpires to be selected to the ICC Panel and that the present committee with Nalin de Alwis in it is not the best of choices.

When the Sunday Times contacted Ashley de Silva, Director Operations, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) he explained that the umpires to the ICC Panel was not done according to domestic ratings. “The umpires have not been evaluated on field performances alone. Their positioning, knowledge of the game, laws have been looked into with great significance. There is a process to select these umpires and that process has been followed to the last detail. They have been selected according to their potential and merit,” explained de Silva.

Ashley went on to explain, “A few years back when Kumar Dharmasena was nominated to the ICC Panel there was a huge hue and cry that he was not the best person to be in that panel. But today Dharmasena is on the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires.”

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