Former West Indies captain Richie Richardson has been appointed match referee by the ICC for the three-match T20 Independence Cup between Pakistan and the World XI side – the first instance since 2009 of an ICC match official overseeing cricket in Pakistan.
Richardson has been a member of the ICC’s Elite Panel of match referees since January 2016 and has officiated in 11 Tests, 19 ODIs and 18 T20Is till date. The Pakistan Cricket Board announced the ICC’s decision in a press release on Tuesday. “The Pakistan Cricket Board today announced that the International Cricket Council has appointed Sir Richie Richardson as match referee for the Independence Cup to be played between the World XI and Pakistan at the Gaddafi Stadium on 12, 13 and 15 September.”
The ICC has thrown its weight behind this series, working closely with the PCB to tackle security which satisfied the standards of the players’ body, the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA).
Zimbabwe’s tour in 2015 – the only international tour by a Test-playing team since the terror attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009 – had gone ahead with local umpires and match officials. Prior to Zimbabwe’s tour, several countries had refused to play in Pakistan, in the aftermath of the attack in Lahore. The PCB, however, has been gradually pursuing more matches in the country. Earlier this year, a few international players turned out in Lahore for the final of the Pakistan Super League. (ESPNCricinfo)