ODI World Cup final: Indian fans worried about umpire Kettleborough's 'jinx'
As the much anticipated World Cup 2023 final between India and Australia is set to begin at Ahmedabad on Sunday, Indian fans have a worrying factor. They are gripped with a sense of concern as International Cricket Council's (ICC) decided to appoint Richard Illingworth and Richard Kettleborough as on-field umpires.
The decision was announced by ICC on Friday night, two days before the big clash. This will be the second outing for Kettleborough, who also stood in the final of the 2015 World Cup that saw clash between Australia and New Zealand.
This is not the first time Kettleborough would officiate in an ICC tournament knockout match involving India. In India’s eight knockout matches in various ICC events, since Champions Trophy in 2013, Kettleborough was part of the umpires panel in seven of those.
Kettleborough was the on-field umpire in five knockout India matches--the 2014 T20 World Cup final vs Sri Lanka, the 2015 World Cup semi-final vs Australia, the 2017 Champions Trophy final vs Pakistan, and the 2019 World Cup semi-final vs New Zealand.
Also, he was the TV umpire in the two World Test Championship finals that India lost to New Zealand and Australia.
Meanwhile, Illingworth was the on-field umpire in three out of India's last eight ICC knockout matches.
Both the umpires have immense experience. Illingworth and Kettleborough were both promoted to the ICC International List in November 2009. They've both won the David Shepherd Trophy, awarded to ICC's Umpire of the Year. Kettleborough won it three times in a row, between 2013-15, which Illingworth did the same in 2019 and 2022.
Both acted as on-field umpires during this week's semi-finals. Illingworth was in charge of India's victory over New Zealand in Mumbai, while Kettleborough oversaw Australia's win against South Africa in Kolkata.
India vs Australia WC Final
Third Umpire: Joel Wilson
Fourth Umpire: Chris Gaffaney
Match Referee: Andy Pycroft