The best match officials of the world converged in Dubai to spend four days sharing their expertise on the conduct of cricket and application of the rules among others things during the annual Elite Panel Conference.
The conference, attended by the Emirates Elite Panel of Match Referees, Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires, members of the emerging group of umpires and the umpire coaches, focused on implementation of the amendments to the Code of Conduct and Playing Conditions, low catches and use of technology.
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson and ICC General Manager – Cricket Geoff Allardice were among those to address the gathering during different sessions.
ICC Senior Manager, Umpires and Referees, Adrian Griffith said: “We don’t get together very frequently during the course of the year even though we communicate regularly. When we are together, we use our experiences of dealing with situations and go over the playing conditions.
“We had some very interactive sessions and we can get our guys to be more consistent going forward. There are always things that are new and which we put into practice through the year, for which we take feedback to make things better. These sessions are also very important for team bonding.”
Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle said: “There’s a lot of seriousness during these sessions but there is also a lot of friendship and comradery. We meet regularly during assignments but the circumstances are different then.
“Here it is a more relaxed atmosphere where we can discuss various things and learn from each other’s experiences. When we get such an opportunity, we make the best use of it.”
Emirates Elite Panel ICC Umpire Bruce Oxenford said: “I really look forward to coming for this conference every year just to make sure that we are all across the changes in playing conditions and the way we interpret them, but more importantly to be together with the great team that we have got.
“We are the third team out there in the middle – the batting, the bowling and the umpiring team, so there is a degree of trust that we require with each other and these bonding sessions are extremely important.
Learning from your peers is probably the best form of learning and rarely a game goes when I don’t pick up something from my colleagues. They are all willing to share their experiences and help one another.”