CRICKET WORLD CUP: UMPIRE WATCH

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ENGLAND'S SECOND match of the World Cup begins today under the eye of Sri Lanka's most experienced umpire. Hailing from Colombo, he must surely have one of the longest middle names in the world. Kandiah Thirugnanasambandham Pillai Francis is popularly known, for obvious reasons, as KT.

Francis is the most experienced umpire from Sri Lanka, having officiated in Tests in England, South Africa, India, New Zealand and Zimbabwe. He has been around the world in the past two to three years, thanks to the International Cricket Council's decision to appoint neutral umpires.

Francis has officiated in 35 one-day internationals and will add to that with some key matches in the World Cup.

In an interesting and eventful career, the pipe- smoking KT is very much in favour of the third umpire.

"While the man in the middle has to take a decision instantly at the time of the action," KT said, "the third umpire has a considerable advantage."

Today, KT be will on the field as England hope to gain a considerable advantage of their own against Kenya.

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