Picture: GALLO IMAGES/Shaun Roy
Picture: GALLO IMAGES/Shaun Roy

Umpires and cricket officials were tested for Covid-19 ahead of the domestic season in November and director of cricket Graeme Smith said on Monday all the tests were negative.

Smith said the officials congregated in Gauteng for a four-day build-up conference in preparation for the return to playing. International Cricket Council (ICC) elite umpires Michael Gough from England and SA’s Marais Erasmus provided input to the conference. 

The former Proteas captain said the conference covered all aspects of the match officials’ role, with the participants writing exams on specific subjects as well as being exposed to the more practical aspects such as the latest developments in television technology.

While Cricket SA’s administration fights for its existence‚ the embattled governing body announced in September that domestic cricket will return on November 2 when the Four-Day Franchise Series begins.

All six franchises will be in action from November 2-5 when the Dolphins host the Lions in Durban. The Warriors will travel to Bloemfontein to face the Knights while the Cape Cobras host the Titans in Cape Town.

The franchises have been split into two pools for both the red-ball and the Momentum 1-Day Cup competition.

The postponement of the Mzansi Super League means the Franchise T20 Cup will be contested on a single-round basis with the top two teams contesting the final.

Smith said he was satisfied with what has been achieved at the conference.

“This sort of interaction [conference] is incredibly valuable to our match officials,” he said. “They were also able to draw on the  input from Marais Erasmus, our own representative on the ICC elite panel, who was able to relate his experiences at the 2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Final.

“Marais is a wonderful role model to all our umpires.

“It was fitting that he presented the official CSA black blazers to the two umpires recently promoted to our first-class panel, Abongile Sodumo and Mazizi Gampu,” Smith said.

CSA First-Class Panel: Murray Brown, Mazizi Gampu, Siphelele Gasa, Lubabalo Gcuma, Shaun George, Stephen Harris, Ryan Hendricks, Adrian Holdstock, Arno Jacobs, Bongani Jele, Tom Mokorosi, Allahudien Paleker, Dennis Smith, Abdoellaah Steenkamp, Abongile Sodumo, Philip Vosloo, Brad White.

CSA Reserve List Panel: Lauren Agenbag, Rudi Birkenstock, Gawie Botha, Jannie Erasmus, Gladman Gaseba, Marlon Jansen, Kevin Lawrence, Sinethemba Mjekula, Bongani Ntshebe, Jurie Sadler, Godwin von Willingh.  

CSA Match Referees: Shandre Fritz, Devdas Govindjee, Barry Lambson, Zama Ndamane, Laurence Matroos, Gerrie Pienaar, Shaid Wadvalla.

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