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Buddhi Bahadur Pradhan, arguably the best cricket umpire of the country, has been selected for the ICC Associate and Affiliates Umpires Panel 2005/06.

International Cricket Council (ICC) selected Pradhan along with 10 others for the period of one year – starting April 1, 2005 – after supervising his performance in the recently held World Cup Qualifying Series Division II tournament in Malaysia.

Pradhan now will be eligible to conduct ICC’s organized tournaments such as ICC InterContinental Cup, ICC Trophy 2005 and ICC U-19 World Cup 2006. The Panel members could even be invited to be involved in the ICC Champions Trophy and ICC Cricket World Cup. They will be asked to take a role in the training and development of other umpires within their country and region.

The panel consists two from Asia, four from Europe, two from East Asia Pacific and one each from Africa and America. The selected umpires are: Trevor Henry (Ireland), Roger Dill (Bermuda), Subash Modi (Kenya), Sarika Siva Prasad (Singapore), Buddi Bahadur Pradhan (Nepal), Hameed Shahul (Indonesia), Paul Baldwin (Germany), Tony Cooper (Fiji), Niels Bagh (Denmark), John Thallon (Scotland).

ICC Global Development Manager Matthew Kennedy commended the officials and said that umpire development was an important element of the ICC Development Program.

“It is important that we target officials as well as players as part of the ICC Development Program as they are a vital part of the game,” said Mr Kennedy.

“The 10 members of the ICC Associate and Affiliate Umpires Panel can take pride in their selection and I hope that it will inspire them to work with other umpires in their respective regions to raise the overall standard of umpiring in the developing cricket world.”

In February ICC announced that the WCQS Division 2 would see the ICC take the first step towards the development of an ICC Associates and Affiliates Umpires Panel.

The panel is a pathway to top level umpiring for officials from its 82 Associate and Affiliate Member countries. Twenty umpires were invited in Malaysia to conduct the tournament and they attended a two-day seminar with Darrell Hair and Chris Kelly. ICC had also said that ‘the most promising umpires from the event would be invited to join the ICC Associates and Affiliates Umpires Panel.’