PCB nominates match officials for ICC panels

LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board on Monday announced its nominations to the ICC Panel of International Match Officials for the 2020-21 season.

Former Test opener Ali Naqvi is the only new inclusion as he joins Prof. Javed Malik in the ICC Panel of International Match Referees, while Ahsan Raza, Asif Yaqoob, Rashid Riaz Waqar and Shozab Raza have been retained in the ICC Panel of International Umpires.

Ali has replaced Mohammad Anees, who is part of the PCB’s six-member Elite Panel of Match Referees. Anees refereed in two ODIs in November 2017 between Papua New Guinea and Scotland in Dubai.

Ali Naqvi, 43, played five Tests for Pakistan in a five-month period from October 1997 to March 1998, scoring 242 runs at just over 30. Ali began his career with a fine 115 in Rawalpindi against a bowling attack including Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock, Pat Symcox and Jacques Kallis. However, he could not convert that start into a successful career as he managed scores of 19, 30 not out, 11, 6, 27, 13, 13 and 8 in his next eight innings.

He retired from first-class cricket in 2011 after aggregating 5,881 runs in 115 matches with 14 centuries and 24 half-centuries.

In 2014, Ali was appointed as a member of the junior national selection committee before joining the PCB Panel of Match Referees in 2016-17. He was promoted to the elite panel in 2018-19. He is presently a member of the PCB Cricket Committee as the match officials’ representative.

Bilal Qureshi, PCB Manager – Umpires and Referees said here : “I want to congratulate Ali Naqvi on his elevation to the ICC Panel of International Match Referees. I have worked very closely with Ali and followed his progression as a match referee, and I think this is a well-earned and deserved nomination.

“Ali has a sound knowledge about the rules and regulations, while he enjoys tremendous respect in the domestic circuit. As a former international, Ali understands the mindset of professional cricketers better, which, in turn, helps him in his overall player management.

“The PCB, as part of its future strategy, continues to encourage former international cricketers to become match officials as this will not only help them to stay connected to the game but will also provide them a career pathway.

“The more former international cricketers will join the noble profession, the better chances Pakistan will have to get a representation in the match officials’ elite panels. Aleem Dar is the only Pakistani in the present elite panel, while our last match referee was Wasim Raja in 2004. The last umpire to make a Test debut was Nadeem Ghauri in 2012.

“I also want to thank Mohammad Anees for his outstanding contribution as a Pakistan representative on the international panel. Anees still has a lot to offer and I am sure the next generation of match referees will benefit immensely from Anees’ approach, preparations and match management.”

ICC Panel of International of Umpires – Ahsan Raza, Asif Yaqoob, Rashid Riaz Waqar and Shozab Raza.

ICC Panel of International of Match Referees – Ali Naqvi and Prof. Mohammad Javed Malik

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.