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International honours for Wharf, Whitticase and Noon

Press Release   •   Jan 30, 2018 11:00 GMT

Alex Wharf, who has been appointed to the Emirates International Panel of ICC Umpires, pictured with Emirates Old Trafford groundsman Matt Merchant in September

Tom Harrison has congratulated three English officials for their appointments to the ICC’s panels for international cricket in 2018.

Alex Wharf has been added to the Emirates International Panel of ICC Umpires, and Phil Whitticase and Wayne Noon have joined the ICC’s new International Match Referees Panel.

Wharf, the former Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Glamorgan all-rounder who played 13 ODIs for England in 2004-5, began umpiring in 2011 and has been a full-time member of the ECB’s First-Class Umpires List since 2014.

He takes to eight the number of ECB umpires on the ICC’s panels for international cricket. Ian Gould, Richard Illingworth, Richard Kettleborough and Nigel Llong are on the Emirates Elite Panel who stand in Test cricket, and Wharf joins Rob Bailey, Michael Gough and Tim Robinson on the International Panel for domestic ODI and IT20 cricket.

Whitticase and Noon have earned their positions on the Match Referees Panel through their work on the ECB’s panel of Cricket Liaison Officers. Whitticase, the former Leicestershire wicketkeeper and coach, was one of the original four-man panel when it was introduced in 2015; Noon, another former ‘keeper with Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire who then had a spell on the coaching staff at Trent Bridge, joined the panel last summer.

Chris Broad remains the only Englishman on the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees for Test cricket, but Whitticase and Noon are now eligible for England Women’s home internationals and other ICC fixtures.

Harrison said: “I'm delighted to offer congratulations on behalf of the ECB to Alex, Phil and Wayne, and this is also a good moment to reflect on the high standard of officiating we enjoy in the professional game in England and Wales. Match officials are so pivotal to cricket in all forms and at all levels, and it is good to be able to celebrate the fact that our officials are so well-represented on the ICC’s international panels.”

The ECB have also confirmed four additions to the list of full-time First-Class Umpires this summer. Ian Blackwell, Ben Debenham, Paul Pollard and Russell Warren step up from what has previously been known as the Reserve List to restore the full-time list to 25, following the retirements in 2017 of Steve Garratt, Steve Gale and Nigel Cowley, and the death of Russell Evans which is still being mourned by so many in cricket and beyond.

They will be supported by six umpires on short-term contracts, following two new appointments for 2018: the former Northamptonshire batsman Rob White; and Ian Ramage, an experienced Scottish official who has stood in 35 One-Day Internationals including two matches between Scotland and England, in Edinburgh in 2010 and Aberdeen in 2014.

Chris Kelly, the ECB’s Umpires Manager, said: “First, we should pay tribute to the four umpires we have lost from our First-Class List over the last 12 months.

“The loss of Russell Evans stunned us all, and it was a measure of his popularity both within the umpiring fraternity but also throughout cricket that there was such a huge turnout at his funeral earlier this month.

“Steve Garratt stood down midway through last season which was his 10th on the First-Class List and like Steve Gale, who retired at the end of the season after seven summers on the List, showed that it is possible to become a widely respected umpire despite not having played first-class cricket.

“Of course Nigel Cowley was at the other end of that scale, having played for 15 years with Hampshire before he was appointed to our First-Class list in 2000. It is good to have this opportunity to place on record appreciation on behalf of the ECB and the wider game for their contribution to the First-Class game.

“That has created four vacancies on our list of full-time umpires, and I think the four replacements we have appointed are a reflection of the depth of quality of umpiring in this country.

“Three of them have considerable first-class playing experience – international experience, in the case of Ian Blackwell – and the fourth, Ben Debenham, played second team cricket for Essex in addition to numerous appearances for the MCC before joining our Reserve List in 2012.

“We have been able to introduce all four of them steadily to the First-Class game and also to assess their readiness to take this next step. Congratulations to them all, and to Rob White and Ian Ramage, who are added to our list of First-Class umpires for 2018.”

The panel of Cricket Liaison Officers, which was expanded from five to 10 in 2017 to allow them to cover all games in all three domestic competitions, remains unchanged for 2018.

ECB First-Class Umpires 2018 (new appointments in bold): Rob Bailey, Neil Bainton, Paul Baldwin, Ian Blackwell, Michael Burns, Nick Cook, Ben Debenham, Jeff Evans, Michael Gough, Ian Gould, Peter Hartley, Richard Illingworth, Richard Kettleborough, Nigel Llong, Graham Lloyd, Jeremy Lloyds, Neil Mallender, David Millns, Steve O'Shaughnessy, Paul Pollard, Tim Robinson, Martin Saggers, Billy Taylor, Russell Warren, Alex Wharf, Tom Lungley, James Middlebrook, Mark Newell, Ian Ramage, Chris Watts, Rob White.

Cricket Liaison Officers: Tim Boon, Dean Cosker,Graham Cowdrey, Stuart Cummings, Steve Davis, Richard Ellison, Wayne Noon, Tony Pigott,Lloyd Tennant, Phil Whitticase

Ends…

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