Kolkata: The ICC has named former West Indies skipper Richie Richardson as the match referee for the Independence Cup consisting of three T20I’s scheduled to be held in Pakistan in September this year.
Since 2009, this is the first instance of an ICC match official selected to officiate in Pakistan.
In a press release, the Pakistan Cricket Board announced the decision of the ICC 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,” it read.
Since 2016, Richardson has been a member of the ICC’s Elite Panel of match referees and has overseen 11 Test matches, 19 ODI’s and 18 T20I’s.
The Independence Cup which would see Pakistani cricketers take on some of world cricket’s biggest stars has received a lot of support from the ICC. They have even appointed a security agency to make sure that no concerns related to the same arise and it has impressed the Federation of International Cricketers’ Association (FICA).
The terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus eight years ago had stopped international teams from touring Pakistan. Hence, international cricket has remained in exile from the country ever since then and Pakistan was made to play all their, ‘home’ matches in the UAE.
But the ice was broken in 2015, when Zimbabwe, the only Test-playing nation to have visited Pakistan since 2009, and the matches were overseen by local umpires and match officials.
Also, earlier this year, many big names in international cricket had travelled to Pakistan for the final of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) was held in Lahore, which was welcomed by the country as things were safely and successfully conducted at the end.