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Dharmasena and Menon Set to Officiate the Opening Match of ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023

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The cricketing world is abuzz with anticipation as the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 is right around the corner. As the excitement continues to build, the ICC has revealed the esteemed panel of match officials who will officiate the cricketing extravaganza. The opening match of the tournament, a highly-anticipated clash between England and New Zealand, will be graced by the presence of Kumar Dharmasena and Nitin Menon as the on-field umpires.

This monumental group stage showdown, which is a reminiscent repeat of the unforgettable final from four years ago, will witness Kumar Dharmasena and Nitin Menon taking charge on the field. They will be joined by TV umpire Paul Wilson, fourth umpire Shahid Saikat, and match referee Javagal Srinath, ensuring that the contest unfolds with the highest standards of fairness and accuracy.

Kumar Dharmasena’s involvement in this prestigious tournament is particularly noteworthy. In 2015, he etched his name in the annals of cricket history by becoming the first individual to both play and umpire in an ICC Men’s 50-over Cricket World Cup final. Nitin Menon, on the other hand, will be making his debut in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, signifying a significant milestone in his umpiring career. Shahid Saikat’s participation holds a special place as he becomes the first umpire from Bangladesh to officiate in this prestigious competition.

This illustrious team of 20 match officials, unveiled by the ICC, is poised to oversee the exciting encounters throughout the World Cup. The roster includes 16 umpires and four match referees, including 12 umpires from the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Umpires. Among these 16 umpires, six are set to step into their roles for the first time in an ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. Conversely, three umpires are returning, having previously officiated in World Cup finals, showcasing their wealth of experience.

Additionally, 14 umpires from the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 are making a return to the international stage, with Shahid and Alex Wharf being the exceptions, as they did not officiate in the previous edition held in Australia.

Dharmasena, Marais Erasmus, and Richard Kettleborough are among the returning umpires who have previously taken charge of ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup finals, notably in 2019 and 2015. In the 2019 final at Lord’s and the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 final, Erasmus and Dharmasena played pivotal roles as the match officials. Rod Tucker, the third umpire in the final four years ago, has also been selected, making it a total of three officials from the 2019 showpiece who are returning to the World Cup stage.

The list of returning umpires extends to include Chris Gaffaney, Michael Gough, Paul Reiffel, Richard Illingworth, and Joel Wilson.

Nitin Menon, a 39-year-old umpire from India, holds the distinction of being the youngest official at the tournament. Joining him in making their ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup debut are Shahid, Ahsan Raza, Adrian Holdstock, Wharf, and Chris Brown.

The four distinguished match referees for the competition are former international players: Jeff Crowe, Andy Pycroft, Richie Richardson, and Javagal Srinath.

As the cricketing world eagerly awaits the opening match between England and New Zealand on October 5, this impressive ensemble of match officials stands ready to ensure the smooth conduct of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023. Their expertise and dedication to the game promise to add an extra layer of excitement and authenticity to this highly-anticipated cricketing spectacle.

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