Devon Malcolm, Dean Headley set to be appointed as ECB match referees

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Respected former fast bowlers given new roles in sign of ECB commitment to diversity

Devon Malcolm and Dean Headley have been added to the panel of ECB match referees as the organisation seeks to address a long-standing failure to appoint non-white officials.
ESPNcricinfo revealed in November that John Holder, the former Test umpire, had called for an inquiry following the revelation that the ECB had not appointed a non-white match official to the first-class list since 1992. Holder also claimed they had never appointed a non-white Pitch Liaison Officer, Cricket Liaison Officer, Match Referee, Umpires’ Mentor or Umpires’ Coach.

Malcolm and Headley, both highly-respected former England fast bowlers of African-Caribbean heritage who have remained involved in the game in coaching roles, are among the five names added to a ‘supplementary match referees’ panel, alongside Simon Hinks, Alec Swann and Will Smith, Durham’s former County Championship-winning captain. Headley is expected to officiate in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy next week.

Malcolm has previously told ESPNcricinfo that when he expressed an interest in qualifying as an umpire he “was basically told ‘I wouldn’t bother if I was you‘.”

As a result of such stories, the ECB acknowledged “areas where we need to be better and do more to be inclusive and diverse”.

(With Inputs from ESPN)

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