Cricket’s world governing body, the ICC says Neutral umpires will return to stand in Test cricket later this year.

The ICC says countries have started to relax the travel restrictions that were imposed with the onset of Covid-19 pandemic from 2020 and yesterday they ratified the recommendation of its Cricket Committee to utilise more neutral umpires in international cricket, but also decided to have home umpires officiate in both ODIs and T20s.

Accordingly, for the 2022-23 period, the ICC has decided that three of the five match officials in Test cricket will be neutral, the on-field umpire, match referee and the third umpire.

The remaining two match officials – second on-field umpire and the fourth umpire – will be non-neutral.

Before the pandemic, both the on-field umpires, match referee as well as the third umpire were neutral officials. But since June 2020, faced with the logistical challenges posed by the pandemic, the ICC had decided to have non-neutral match officials in bilateral series.