ICC Umpires and refereesThe ICC appoints international umpires and referees who officiate at all sanctioned Test matches and One-day Internationals. The umpires are sponsored by Emirates Airline, whose sponsorship contribution pays for the umpires' fees and costs. The ICC operates 3 panels of umpires: namely the Elite Panel, the International Panel, and the Associates and Affiliates Panel.
As of April 2006, the Elite Panel includes ten umpires. In theory, two umpires from the Elite Panel officiate at every Test match, whilst one Elite Panel umpire stands in ODI matches together with an umpire from the International Panel. In practice, members of the International Panel stand in occasional Test matches, as this is viewed as a good opportunity to see whether they can cope at the Test level, and whether they should be elevated to the Elite Panel. The Elite Panel are full-time employees of the ICC, although do still, very occasionally umpire first-class cricket in their country of residence. The average, annual, officiating schedule for Elite Umpires is 12 Test matches and 15 ODIs, a potential on-field workload of 75 days per year.
The International Panel is made up of officials nominated from each of the ten Test-playing cricket boards. The Panel Members officiate in ODI matches in their home country, and assist the Elite Panel at peak times in the cricket calendar when they can be appointed to overseas ODI and Test matches. International Panel members also undertake overseas umpiring assignments such as the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup (and will be heavily involved in the umpiring of the 2007 Cricket World Cup) in order to improve their knowledge and understanding of overseas conditions, and help them prepare for possible promotion onto the Elite Panel. Each of the Test cricket boards nominates a "third umpire" who can be called upon to review certain on-field decisions through instant television replays. All third umpires are first-class umpires in their own county, and the role is seen as a step onto the International Panel, and then the Elite Panel.
The newest panel of umpires, set up in February 2005, is the Associates and Affiliates Umpires Panel. It was designed to offer a pathway to top level umpiring for officials from the ICC's 82 Associate and Affiliate Member countries. As of January 2005, it has 10 members (none of whom umpire first-class cricket) from countries such as Nepal and Fiji. It is planned that these umpires will officiate at the ICC Trophy and the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup and could even be invited to be involved in the ICC Champions Trophy and ICC Cricket World Cup.
There is also a Panel of Elite Referees who act as the independent representative of the ICC at all Test and ODI matches. As of January 2005, it has 7 members, all highly experienced former international cricketers. The Referees do not have the power to report players or officials (which has to be done by the umpires), but they are responsible for conducting hearings under the ICC Code of Conduct and imposing penalties as required at matches, ranging from an official reprimand to a lifetime ban from cricket. Decisions can be appealed, but the original decision is upheld in most cases.