The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced a list of 22 match officials for the league stages of the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 which will begin on May 30 with England taking on South Africa at The Oval. The umpires and officials announced for the tournament are Chris Broad, Jeff Crowe, Andy Pycroft, Ranjan Madugalle, Richie Richardson (all match referees); Aleem Dar, Marais Erasmus, Chris Gaffaney, Ian Gould, Richard Illingworth, Richard Kettleborough, Nigel Llong, Ruchira Palliyaguruge, Rod Tucker, Michael Gough, Paul Wilson. However, the addition of Indian umpire S Ravi is rather surprising.
Recently, in the IPL 2019 clash between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians at the M Chinnaswamy stadium, there was controversy regarding the umpiring standards. S Ravi, who was the umpire at that time, failed to spot a no-ball in the last ball bowled by Lasith Malinga and Royal Challengers Bangalore lost by six runs. When the replays were shown on the big screen, Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli was furious. “We are playing at the IPL level. It's not club level, the umpires should have their eyes open. That was a big no-ball," a livid Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony. Incidentally, Ravi is the only Indian umpire in ICC's Elite Panel for a number of years now as none of the others has been good enough to be elevated,” Kohli said.
The opening match between hosts England and South Africa at The Oval will see three World Cup winners officiating. David Boon will be the match referee, Kumar Dharmasena one of the two on-field umpires and Paul Reiffel the third umpire. Bruce Oxenford will be the other on-field umpire and Joel Wilson the fourth official for the match. Boon was a member of the Allan Border-led Australia side that won their first title in 1987, Dharmasena was part of Arjuna Ranatunga's champion team of 1996 and Reiffel was a World Cup winner for Australia under Steve Waugh in 1999.
The World Cup is coming back to England after 20 years, having last hosted in 1999. This will be the fifth time England will be hosting the tournament.