The International Cricket Council (ICC) made a significant announcement on Monday, unveiling Kumar Dharmasena and Nitin Menon as the on-field umpires for the inaugural match of the 2023 ICC ODI World Cup. This opening encounter will feature a showdown between England and New Zealand at the iconic Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, scheduled for October 5. This fixture carries a sense of déjà vu, as it will be a reprise of the unforgettable final in the 2019 World Cup.
In that historic match, England secured their maiden World Cup triumph by narrowly defeating New Zealand at Lord’s, thanks to the boundary count-back rule. Joining Dharmasena and Menon on the officiating team are TV Umpire Paul Wilson, fourth umpire Shahid Saikat, and match referee Javagal Srinath.
Nitin Menon, the youngest umpire at the tournament at the age of 39, hails from the host nation, India. He is joined by Shahid, Ahsan Raza, Adrian Holdstock, Alex Wharf, and Chris Brown, all making their Men’s ODI World Cup debut. Dharmasena, a cricketing luminary, achieved a unique distinction in 2015 as the first person to both play and umpire in a Men’s 50-over Cricket World Cup final.
Menon will be officiating his first Men’s ODI World Cup match, while Shahid will become the first umpire from Bangladesh to officiate in this prestigious competition. In addition to Dharmasena, Marais Erasmus and Richard Kettleborough are returning officials, having previously officiated in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup finals in 2019 and 2015, respectively. Erasmus and Dharmasena were the umpires in both the 2019 final at Lord’s and the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 final.
#Sports Kumar Dharmasena picked as on-field umpire for WC opener: The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Monday that Kumar Dharmasena and Nitin Menon will be the on-field umpires for the opening fixture of the 2023 ICC ODI World Cup taking… https://t.co/iS7NLVI6Gb pic.twitter.com/uCjTXvEWzF
— Financial Chronicle (@ChronicleLK) September 25, 2023
Rod Tucker, who served as the third umpire in the 2019 final, is also part of the officiating team, ensuring that three of the four officials from the 2019 showpiece event are making a comeback. The ICC has announced a team of 20 officials to oversee the 203 Men’s ODI World Cup matches, including 16 umpires and four match referees, with 12 umpires hailing from the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires.
While six of the 16 umpires are making their debut in a Men’s ODI World Cup, three return as experienced officials who have previously officiated in finals. Fourteen umpires from the Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 are also returning for this edition. The 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup will see teams competing in a round-robin format, facing each other once, with the top four advancing to the semi-finals.
This 48-match tournament will unfold across ten venues, spanning from October 5 to November 19. India, the host nation, will commence their campaign on October 8 against five-time champions Australia, marking the first time India hosts the Men’s ODI World Cup as the sole host. Sri Lanka, the 1996 champions, will begin their campaign on October 7 against South Africa, while Pakistan, the 1992 champions, will face the Netherlands on October 6 in their opening match.