(MENAFN- Colombo Gazette)
The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Monday that Kumar Dharmasena and Nitin Menon will be the on-field umpires for the opening fixture of the 2023 ICC ODI World Cup taking place between England vs New Zealand at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad on October 5
England's group-stage clash against New Zealand will be a repeat of the iconic final in the World Cup 2019 where England were able to win their first World Cup as they narrowly beat the Kiwis at Lord's due to the boundary count-back rule.
Along with Dharmasena and Menon, TV Umpire Paul Wilson and fourth umpire, Shahid Saikat will join them along with match referee, Javagal Srinath.
Menon, who hails from host nation India, is the youngest umpire at the tournament at 39 and is joined by Shahid, Ahsan Raza, Adrian Holdstock, Wharf and Chris Brown in making their Men's ODI World Cup debut.
Dharmasena made history in 2015 as the first person to both play and umpire in a Men's 50-over Cricket World Cup final while Menon will be standing in his first Men's ODI World Cup match and Shahid will become the first from Bangladesh to umpire in the competition.
Along with Dharmasena, Marais Erasmus and Richard Kettleborough also return, having taken charge of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup finals in the past, in 2019 and 2015, respectively. Erasmus and Dharmasena were the men in the middle for both the 2019 final at Lord's and the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 final.
Rod Tucker, the third umpire in the final four years ago, is also selected, which means three of the four officials for the 2019 showpiece return. They are all among the team of 20 announced by the ICC to oversee the 203 Men's ODI World Cup contests, the list consisting of 16 umpires and four match referees, including 12 umpires from the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires.
Six of those 16 umpires are stepping up for their first Men's ODI World Cup, while at the other end of the scale, three return, having umpired in previous finals. There are also 14 returning umpires from the Men's T20 World Cup 2022, with only Shahid and Alex Wharf those who did not officiate in Australia.
In the 2023 Men's ODI World Cup, teams will play each other once in a round-robin format, with the top four making it to the semi-finals. The 48-match event will be played across ten venues from October 5 to November 19.
Hosts India, the 1983 and 2011 champions, will open its campaign against five-time champions Australia on October 8 at the MA Chidambaram in Chennai. It's the first time India is solely hosting the Men's ODI World Cup.
1996 champions Sri Lanka will begin its campaign against South Africa at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on October 7. Pakistan, the 1992 champions, will open their campaign against the Netherlands on October 6 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. (IANS)