Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday announced its panel of match officials for the 2020-21 domestic season, which will commence with the National T20 Cup from September 30.
The first round matches of the double-league competition will be held in Multan while the second round will be played in Rawalpindi.
As per the PCB release, the six-member PCB Elite Panel of Match Referees include Ali Naqvi (Lahore), Iftikhar Ahmed (Karachi), Muhammad Anees (Lahore), Muhammad Iqbal Sheikh (Hyderabad), Nadeem Arshad (Faisalabad) and Prof. Mohammad Javed Malik (Multan) while 14 members of the PCB Elite Panel of Umpires are Ahsan Raza (Lahore), Aftab Hussain Gillani (Bahawalpur), Asif Yaqoob (Islamabad), Faisal Khan Afridi (Sargodha), Ghaffar Kazmi (Lahore), Imran Javed (Karachi), Nasir Hussain Snr (Lahore), Qaiser Waheed (Lahore), Rashid Riaz Waqar (Lahore), Saqib Khan (Abbottabad), Shozab Raza (Lahore), Syed Imtiaz Iqbal (Karachi), Waleed Yaqub (Lahore) and Zameer Haider (Lahore).
These 20 elite officials will be on 12-month retainer contracts and will be responsible for sharing officiating duties in the First XI Cricket Association and Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches.
“In the 2019-20 season, the PCB had offered contracts to 18 elite match officials. Mohammad Iqbal Sheikh and Nadeem Arshad, are the two additions in the match referees panel while Aftab Hussain Gilani (promoted from the development panel), Imran Javed, Nasir Hussain Snr, Qaiser Waheed, Syed Imtiaz Iqbal, Waleed Yaqoob (promoted from the development panel) and Zameer Haider are the umpires who will be offered contracts for the first time,” read a statement.
The PCB has introduced a supplementary panel for the first time, which includes the match referees and umpires who were unable to find places in the elite panel. They will be offered season contracts, which includes match fees and daily allowances. This panel will be responsible for officiating in the Second XI Cricket Association matches and will set-up for First XI and Pakistan Super League duties as and when required.
The 72-member PCB Development Panel of Umpires has been equally divided into two groups, with the first group to officiate in the PCB-organised age-group matches and the second group to stand in the club, grassroots and school fixtures. The playing control team in these matches will be led by the PCB Development Panel of Match Referees, which comprises 15 officials.
The PCB Development Panel of Match Referees includes a female official, Saman Zulfiqar from Sheikhupura. This is the third successive year she has been named in the panel as the PCB continues to encourage its women officials to get involved with the game if they have any aspirations of representing the country at the international level.
A similar process was followed and adopted while finalising women umpires for the 2020-21 domestic season, who will be offered season contracts. These women officials will be involved in officiating women’s domestic matches, schedule of which will be shared in due course.
The notable inclusion in the eight-member PCB Panel of Women Umpires is Sabahat Rasheed, who played 13 One-Day Internationals for Pakistan from 2005 to 2007. The 37-year-old from Lahore was a right-arm off break and is a graduate of Arts and Education.