Cricket Australia elevate Darren Close to National Umpire Panel

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Cricket Australia elevate Darren Close to National Umpire Panel

Darren Close (R) speaks to Jeremiah Matibiri during a WBBL match. © Getty Images

Cricket Australia on Friday (June 5) announced their Umpire Panel for the 2020-21 season, which sees Darren Close elevated to the National Umpire Panel.



Close, who debuted as an official back in 1987 at only 18, stood as an umpire in 20 First-Class and two List-A matches before taking a break in 1992. After 27 years away from the game, he returned to the First-Class circuit last season and has successfully found his way back as a top tier official.



Cricket Australia did not renew the contract of Geoff Joshua, an umpire who has been part of the setup for over a decade. He stood in 171 domestic matches and 17 women's internationals over the course of his career. The board thanked him for his contributions.



Aside from these change, the retirements of both John Ward and Simon Fry, means the National Umpire Panel for the 2020-21 season has been reduced from 12 members to 10.



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Meanwhile, David Taylor will take Close's place in the Supplementary Umpire Panel, which also consists of the only female in the group, Claire Polosak who only last year became the first woman to officiate in a men's international. The strength of the panel remains at six.



Gerard Abood, Shawn Craig, Sam Nogajski and Paul Wilson remain unchanged as part of the four-member International Umpire Panel.



“We’d like to congratulate all 16 umpires named in the National and Supplementary Umpire Panels for the 2020-21 season,” Peter Roach, Cricket Australia Head of Cricket Operations, said.



“We also thank Geoff Joshua for his service throughout his time on the Umpire Panel, in addition to the retiring Simon Fry and John Ward.”
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