In a thrilling development, the upcoming Men’s ODI World Cup final between cricket powerhouses India and Australia will be officiated by the renowned English duo of Richard Illingworth and Richard Kettleborough. These two esteemed umpires were on-field during the semifinals and will now oversee the highly anticipated clash at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
Both Illingworth and Kettleborough have a rich history as umpires, having been promoted to the ICC International List back in November 2009. Illingworth presided over India’s victorious semifinal match against New Zealand, while Kettleborough was in charge of the gripping encounter between Australia and South Africa.
This won’t be Kettleborough’s first time officiating on the grandest stage of them all. The 50-year-old umpire previously stood alongside Kumar Dharmasena in the 2015 Men’s ODI World Cup final, witnessing Australia’s triumph over New Zealand at the MCG as they secured their fifth title.
Anticipating a majestic atmosphere, it is expected that over 93,000 passionate fans will fill the stands, reminiscent of the unforgettable 2011 World Cup when India claimed victory on home soil. This time around, the Indian team seeks to replicate that success and clinch their third Men’s ODI World Cup title.
Both Illingworth and Kettleborough are distinguished winners of the prestigious David Shepherd Trophy, awarded to the ICC’s Umpire of the Year. Kettleborough was especially prolific, claiming the accolade for three consecutive years from 2013 to 2015. Illingworth secured his place in the esteemed list by capturing the title in 2019 and 2022.
On the momentous occasion of the final, the umpire duo will be joined by Joel Wilson as the third umpire, while Chris Gaffaney will hold the position of the fourth umpire. The experienced match referee, Andy Pycroft, will oversee the proceedings, ensuring a fair and competitive encounter.
India has demonstrated their dominance in the tournament so far, winning all 10 of their games as they aim to secure their third Men’s ODI World Cup title, the second on their home turf since their triumphant campaign in 2011. Australia, on the other hand, comes into the final riding an impressive unbeaten streak of eight matches, seeking an unparalleled sixth World Cup crown. The team previously defeated India in the World Test Championship final earlier this year.
Sunday’s showdown will mark the eighth meeting between India and Australia in ODIs this year, adding another chapter to their intense rivalry. The tournament opener for both teams kicked off in Chennai on October 8, where India staged an unforgettable comeback victory, with KL Rahul and Virat Kohli leading the charge with their remarkable partnership.
Cricket fans around the world are eagerly awaiting this clash of titans, and with Illingworth and Kettleborough at the helm, we can expect a match officiated with finesse, accuracy, and an immense understanding of the game.