FORMER Zimbabwe Test cricketer and international match referee Andy Pycroft celebrated a milestone in his career last week after reaching a half-century of Test matches in the second Test between Australia and South Africa in Hobart.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
South Africa claimed an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series last Tuesday, rolling the hosts for 161 to mark their third consecutive Test series win in Australia.
While the South Africans were celebrating a remarkable series win, for 60-year-old Pycroft — a member of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC (International Cricket Council) Match Referees — the match was also a special occasion as he completed a half-century of Test matches.
Pycroft’s first Test as a match referee was between England and the West Indies at Lord’s in May 2009.
He officiated in an ODI for the first time in Bristol, England during the same month, while his T20I debut was in the match between Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Colombo in September 2009.
Pycroft has officiated in 123 ODIs and 49 T20s, including matches at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and the ICC World Twenty20 2016.
The veteran official, who had stints as coach and chief selector in Zimbabwe before he started officiating as an ICC match referee, said he was delighted to have reached the landmark.
“I’m grateful to the ICC for the opportunity it has given me to officiate in international matches, for the support I have been given and the opportunity to stay connected with cricket friends, particularly officials, throughout the world. It has been a privilege and honour,” Pycroft said in a statement released by the ICC last week.
ICC’s senior manager (umpires and referees), Adrian Griffith also congratulated Pycroft on the achievement.
“Andy has been an asset for us over the years. His experience as a player and administrator have stood him in good stead and he has been a consistent performer in carrying out his duties. I would like to congratulate Andy on behalf of the ICC and wish him continued success in his career,” he said.
Pycroft, whose primary years as a cricketer were before Zimbabwe got Test status, played three Tests and 20 One Day Internationals as a batsman, participating in ICC Cricket World Cups in 1983, 1987 and 1992.
After retiring he moved into administration, managing the Under-19 side, and becoming a selector and subsequently the head of the selectors.
He became Zimbabwe’s coach in 2001 but resigned during the 2003 World Cup, citing a lack of communication with his fellow selectors.
It was a warning of the issues which were to rip Zimbabwe cricket apart the following year.