Australia news May 13, 2014

Craig, Davidson added to Australia umpires panel

ESPNcricinfo staff

Shawn Craig, the former Victoria batsman, has been promoted to Australia's National Umpire Panel and will officiate in state matches during the 2014-15 season. Craig and former New South Wales grade cricketer Greg Davidson are the two new additions to the 12-man group, replacing Tony Ward and Ian Lock from last summer's panel.

The panel provides the umpires for all domestic cricket played in Australia and does not include those Australians on the ICC's Elite Panel of Umpires - Steve Davis, Bruce Oxenford, Paul Reiffel and Rod Tucker. Cricket Australia's senior manager of cricket operations, Sean Cary, said Craig and Davidson had earned their places on the panel through strong performances.

"Both Shawn and Greg have extensive involvement in cricket and long playing careers before progressing to umpiring," Cary said. "Their promotion is a reward for hard work and the critical role our state associations play in developing high-quality officials.

"Australia has a proud history of producing quality umpires who have gone on to international honours after coming through our state and development pathways. We believe there is significant potential in this group to continue that."

Craig, 40, played 20 first-class matches for Victoria from 1996 to 2001 and was a first-grade cricketer for St Kilda until 2006-07. Davidson, 43, played 21 seasons for Parramatta in Sydney's grade competition, before retiring after the 2007-08 season.

2014-15 National Umpire Panel Gerard Abood, Ashley Barrow, Shawn Craig, Greg Davidson, Simon Fry, Mike Graham-Smith, Geoff Joshua, Mick Martell, Damien Mealey, Sam Nogajski, John Ward, Paul Wilson.