The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has made five new appointments to its Match Referee Panel.
Former England internationals Devon Malcolm and Dean Headley join Will Smith, Alec Swann and Simon Hinks on the Supplementary Panel ahead of a busy period of domestic cricket.
Sue Laister has also been appointed to match referee this weekend’s Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy match between Northern Diamonds and Central Sparks at Emerald Headingley. Laister will become the first female Match Referee of a professional domestic match in England and Wales.
The newly-formed Supplementary Panel has been created to provide opportunities to develop new Match Referees across the men’s and women’s game.
The Panel will primarily be appointed to Vitality Blast, Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, Women’s Regional T20 and Royal London Cup matches, however, the Panel is in place for matches as required across the season given the quantity of cricket in 2021.
Four-time County Championship winner Smith and former Northamptonshire and Lancashire batsman Alec Swann have returned to the role after being part of the 2020 Panels, and have already been involved in LV= Insurance County Championship matches this season.
Malcolm played 40 Tests and 10 One-Day Internationals for England, memorably claiming nine for 57 against South Africa in a Test at The Oval in 1994.
Headley made 15 Test and 13 ODI appearances for England and enjoyed a nine-year domestic career with Middlesex and Kent. Hinks scored more than 12,000 first-class and List A runs for Gloucestershire and Kent from 1982 to 1999.
ECB Managing Director of County Cricket, Neil Snowball, said: “I am delighted to announce these appointments as we look to develop, expand and diversify our group of officials.
“Sue Laister will make history when she becomes the first female Referee this weekend and our five new appointments to the Supplementary Panel bring a further wealth of experience to benefit the men’s and women’s game.”