Umpires Withdraw From Zimbabwe World Cup Matches

World Cup Cricket News 18/02/03

The ICC today confirmed that English umpires Peter Willey and Neil Mallender have withdrawn from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 matches they were appointed to, in Zimbabwe.

Before the tournament started both umpires, who are employees of the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and are standing in the World Cup as members of the ICC’s supplementary International Panel, had advised the ICC of their concerns over Zimbabwe.

Willey was due to partner Dave Orchard in the Zimbabwe v Australia match in Bulawayo, on Monday 24 February, with Mallender as third umpire. Willey was also listed as third umpire for the Zimbawe v Holland game, also in Bulawayo, on Friday 28.

“Both umpires had separately advised the ICC that if the ECB did not send its team to Harare, they would be reluctant to fulfil their appointments in Bulawayo. Since the cancellation of the England match, they have reconfirmed their decisions that they do not want to stand in Zimbabwe,” said ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed.

Commenting on his decision Peter Willey said, “I advised the ICC some time ago of my concerns and indicated that if my employer, the ECB, did not send its team to Zimbabwe, I would be unlikely to travel to the country.”

Willey has been replaced by Billy Bowden of New Zealand for the Australia match, and by Nadeem Ghouri of Pakistan for the Holland game. Mallender will be replaced by Brian Jerling of South Africa, as third umpire for the Zimbabwe v Australia fixture.

Both English umpires will complete their other scheduled Group appointments. Peter Willey is third umpire for the South Africa v Sri Lanka match in Durban, on Monday 3 March, while Neil Mallender will act as third umpire for the Australia v Namibia game in Potchefstroom on 27 February. He will also stand with Asoka de Silva in the Kenya v Bangladesh game at The Wanderers on 1 March.

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