CHENNAI:The first international cricket fare in Pakistan in over six years will be played without match officials commissioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
The governing body of the game has refused to appoint umpires and match referees for the series against Zimbabwe beginning on May 22. No team has toured Pakistan after an armed attack on a Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009.
However, the series that does not feature any Tests and containing two T20s before three ODIs, will be played under the ‘official’ label, since the ICC has no objection if the boards appoint ‘local match officials’. The Pakistan Cricket Board wasted little time in naming them. With ICC panel umpires Russel Tiffin of Zimbabwe and Pakistan’s Aleem Dar, three more local umpires will officiate in the matches. Former selector Azhar Khan was appointed match referee.