Centurion [South Africa], December 23 (ANI): Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Wednesday confirmed that Marais Erasmus and Adrian Holdstock have been appointed as the on-field umpires by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the upcoming two-match Test series between South Africa and Sri Lanka.
For Holdstock especially, it will mark a special occasion as he makes his debut in five-day cricket following years of honing his skill at the domestic level.
"When you start your career, it's something you always dream about and aspire to achieve. It's the pinnacle of every umpires' career. It's been 14 years in the making with lots of sacrifices and commitments along the way, so I'm just very proud and stoked that the moment has finally come," said Holdstock in an official release.
What will make that moment more special is the fact that Holdstock will take to the field alongside his former captain and Boland teammate, Erasmus, who he played eight of his 16 first-class matches alongside during his career as a player.
"It will obviously be special because we played together all those years ago," Erasmus of the Elite Panel of ICC Umpires stated. "It's also the first time I'm going to be umpiring alongside another South African at this level, which will be unique," he added.
The pair also stood together on Holdstock's international debut when the Proteas played Australia in a Twenty20 at Newlands back in 2011. However, this is a whole new level for the former Wynberg Boys High School graduate, especially when it comes alongside such an illustrious company.
Interestingly, this will be the first time Erasmus will officiate in a Test match involving the Proteas and it will also mark the first time he is one of the two standing umpires for a five-day game in South Africa. The 56-year-old first started umpiring in 2002/03, before becoming an international umpire in 2006.
The appointment of Erasmus and Holdstock also marks the first time there will be two South African umpires in a home Test since the 1992/93 series against India. Another local Allahudien Paleker will work as the television umpire, countryman Bongani Jele is the reserve umpire and Andrew Pycroft will oversee the series as the ICC Match Referee.
The two-match sequence takes place at SuperSport Park in Centurion (December 26-30) and at the Imperial Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg (January 3-7) as the traditional Boxing Day and New Year's Test matches. (ANI)