ICC news June 25, 2013

Rauf, Bowden dropped from Elite umpires' list

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Pakistan's Asad Rauf and New Zealand's Billy Bowden have been dropped from the Elite Panel of umpires following the annual review, the ICC have announced. They have been replaced by England's Richard Illingworth and Australia's Paul Reiffel in the 12-member panel for the 2013-2014 season starting on July 1, 2013.

In May this year, the ICC withdrew Rauf from officiating in the Champions Trophy in England following media reports that indicated he was under investigation by Mumbai Police. The ICC, however, clarified that the situation was not a factor in his exclusion from the panel.

"In Asad's case, it is important to emphasise that the recent speculation linking his name to the IPL spot-fixing investigation was not considered during the selectors' deliberations," Geoff Allardice, the chairman of the ICC's umpire selection panel, said. "The selection panel considered the overall performances of the umpires over the past 12 months when deciding which umpires would be offered contracts for 2013-14.

"It is exciting to see Richard and Paul promoted to the elite panel, but it is also important to acknowledge and appreciate the outstanding contributions of Asad and Billy over a long period of time," Allardice added.

Paul Reiffel was thoroughly satisfied with the appointment. "When I first started on CA's Project Panel Umpires program after retiring from first-class cricket, my aim was to reach the highest level of international umpiring. It always seemed a long way off so it's very rewarding and exciting to achieve the goal I set myself when I first started umpiring."

"I'd like to thank Cricket Australia for their support throughout my umpiring career. The umpiring system and pathway in Australia is very good, which is evidenced by the quality of Australian umpires."

Reiffel, a former Australian fast bowler, played 35 Tests and 92 ODIs between 1992 and 1998. He has been umpiring in international cricket since January 2009 and has stood in 4 Tests, 30 ODIs and 9 T20Is.

Rauf was included in the panel of umpires in 2006 and officiated in 48 Tests, 98 ODIs and 23 T20Is. Bowden was part of the panel since 2003 during and he has officiated in 75 Tests, 181 ODIs and 19 T20Is.

Illingworth, a former left-arm spinner, played nine Tests and 25 ODIs for England, including the 1992 World Cup final against Pakistan. He has umpired in 4 Tests, 16 ODIs and seven T20Is since July 2010.

Elite Panel of umpires: Aleem Dar, Kumar Dharmasena, Steve Davis, Marais Erasmus, Ian Gould, Tony Hill, Richard Kettleborough, Nigel Llong, Bruce Oxenford, Rod Tucker, Richard Illingworth and Paul Reiffel

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | June 26, 2013, 1:04 GMT

    I would suggest all who knock any of the umpires who are on the elite panel go & read the criteria for their selections. All umpires are reviewed on their performances with the panel taking into account decisions, right or wrong & compiling a data base. Umpires performances are not based on one poor test as many have claimed so you can be sure the selected members of the panel have achieved the highest standards of those examined & reviewed. Billy has been on the limit the past few seasons & had been close to being dropped. Rauf's form has been getting less than the high standard he set a few years back, so it appears the review system for umpires is working. As long as the independent review process remains, no one should question it based on their "expert" opinion.

  • POSTED BY dganger on | June 25, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    Its not exactly a ideal situation for the umpire in today's age of DRS. Though it has raised the accuracy percentage but it has also increased the pressure level for the standing umpiries. The fact that one's decision can be openly challenged in front of the billions eyes all over world is not a comfortable situation at all, and if the upmiries decision proven wrong this can be humiliating for them. There is not let off from the mistakes and I beleive this is putting extra burden on the Umpires. Temperament and handling pressure also comes into the picture for Umpires as well along with the players. So it has become imperative for ICC to find, groom and review umpires time to time who can maintain calm under pressure, hence enabling them to take accurate decisions under pressure.The performance and skill bar has suddenly been set at a higher standard now, those who can adapt will sustain and grow. Overall good for the game.

  • POSTED BY on | June 27, 2013, 8:17 GMT

    @johnstanley I would agree that Oxenford made a blunder but please you cannot be serious about believing that decision had decided the outcome of the game. Bell would have likely fallen to Jadeja or Ashwin soon enough

  • POSTED BY ultimatechamp_1 on | June 27, 2013, 5:22 GMT

    in the article it is written as- Reiffel, a former Australian fast bowler, played 35 Tests and 92 ODIs between 1992 and 1998. Dear writer, Reiffel also played in 1999 World Cup

  • POSTED BY kensohatter on | June 27, 2013, 1:46 GMT

    I find it amazing that umpires continue to get critized if they have a poor performance yet players can go several test matches in a year scoring no runs and retain their place. Also how come a batsman facing the bowling gets a white screen on which to make his decisions yet the umpire looking down the pitch trying to adjudge LBWs etc has to contend with advertising on the sight screen?!? Congrats to Paul Reifell on selection to the elite panel... There are not many test match players that transition into officiating.

  • POSTED BY johnstanley on | June 27, 2013, 0:33 GMT

    Noman, I agree with your comment about Bruce Oxenford. The blunder he made in the Final between India & England, cannot be overlooked since it decided the outcome of the game. This is not the first blunder he has made. So how does someone like that make it to Elite Panel?

  • POSTED BY the_wallster on | June 26, 2013, 18:39 GMT

    Billy Bowden's umpiring has been shocking for a while. The other docile ump is Dharamasena. Not an inoffensive decision to promote Illingworth, but Kettleborough is better.

  • POSTED BY on | June 26, 2013, 17:38 GMT

    We love Billy downunder. even if he does make the odd mistake. We'll miss him and his colour. Why oh why can't people realise that the making and accepting of mistakes is at the heart of the spirit of cricket, which is why a gentleman should learn to play cricket. The randomness and luck of umpiring is part of the game, just like the wicker baskets at Merion in US Open probably undid Lee Westwood when, recovering from the rough, he hit a brilliant shot right at the pin, whoch unfortunately bounced off the wicker basket, rolled miles away and instead of svaing par, he walked off with triple bogey. Bad luck Lee, but he accepted it like the graceful man he is.

  • POSTED BY on | June 26, 2013, 15:10 GMT

    Looks like Billy has been a little hard done by the panel... love his attics though and will sure miss it for the interim... saying this sure he will come back strong.

  • POSTED BY MelbourneMiracle on | June 26, 2013, 10:51 GMT

    No Indian umpire? Oh sad!

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | June 26, 2013, 1:04 GMT

    I would suggest all who knock any of the umpires who are on the elite panel go & read the criteria for their selections. All umpires are reviewed on their performances with the panel taking into account decisions, right or wrong & compiling a data base. Umpires performances are not based on one poor test as many have claimed so you can be sure the selected members of the panel have achieved the highest standards of those examined & reviewed. Billy has been on the limit the past few seasons & had been close to being dropped. Rauf's form has been getting less than the high standard he set a few years back, so it appears the review system for umpires is working. As long as the independent review process remains, no one should question it based on their "expert" opinion.

  • POSTED BY dganger on | June 25, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    Its not exactly a ideal situation for the umpire in today's age of DRS. Though it has raised the accuracy percentage but it has also increased the pressure level for the standing umpiries. The fact that one's decision can be openly challenged in front of the billions eyes all over world is not a comfortable situation at all, and if the upmiries decision proven wrong this can be humiliating for them. There is not let off from the mistakes and I beleive this is putting extra burden on the Umpires. Temperament and handling pressure also comes into the picture for Umpires as well along with the players. So it has become imperative for ICC to find, groom and review umpires time to time who can maintain calm under pressure, hence enabling them to take accurate decisions under pressure.The performance and skill bar has suddenly been set at a higher standard now, those who can adapt will sustain and grow. Overall good for the game.

  • POSTED BY on | June 27, 2013, 8:17 GMT

    @johnstanley I would agree that Oxenford made a blunder but please you cannot be serious about believing that decision had decided the outcome of the game. Bell would have likely fallen to Jadeja or Ashwin soon enough

  • POSTED BY ultimatechamp_1 on | June 27, 2013, 5:22 GMT

    in the article it is written as- Reiffel, a former Australian fast bowler, played 35 Tests and 92 ODIs between 1992 and 1998. Dear writer, Reiffel also played in 1999 World Cup

  • POSTED BY kensohatter on | June 27, 2013, 1:46 GMT

    I find it amazing that umpires continue to get critized if they have a poor performance yet players can go several test matches in a year scoring no runs and retain their place. Also how come a batsman facing the bowling gets a white screen on which to make his decisions yet the umpire looking down the pitch trying to adjudge LBWs etc has to contend with advertising on the sight screen?!? Congrats to Paul Reifell on selection to the elite panel... There are not many test match players that transition into officiating.

  • POSTED BY johnstanley on | June 27, 2013, 0:33 GMT

    Noman, I agree with your comment about Bruce Oxenford. The blunder he made in the Final between India & England, cannot be overlooked since it decided the outcome of the game. This is not the first blunder he has made. So how does someone like that make it to Elite Panel?

  • POSTED BY the_wallster on | June 26, 2013, 18:39 GMT

    Billy Bowden's umpiring has been shocking for a while. The other docile ump is Dharamasena. Not an inoffensive decision to promote Illingworth, but Kettleborough is better.

  • POSTED BY on | June 26, 2013, 17:38 GMT

    We love Billy downunder. even if he does make the odd mistake. We'll miss him and his colour. Why oh why can't people realise that the making and accepting of mistakes is at the heart of the spirit of cricket, which is why a gentleman should learn to play cricket. The randomness and luck of umpiring is part of the game, just like the wicker baskets at Merion in US Open probably undid Lee Westwood when, recovering from the rough, he hit a brilliant shot right at the pin, whoch unfortunately bounced off the wicker basket, rolled miles away and instead of svaing par, he walked off with triple bogey. Bad luck Lee, but he accepted it like the graceful man he is.

  • POSTED BY on | June 26, 2013, 15:10 GMT

    Looks like Billy has been a little hard done by the panel... love his attics though and will sure miss it for the interim... saying this sure he will come back strong.

  • POSTED BY MelbourneMiracle on | June 26, 2013, 10:51 GMT

    No Indian umpire? Oh sad!

  • POSTED BY MelbourneMiracle on | June 26, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    No Indian umpire? Oh sad!

  • POSTED BY Rowayton on | June 26, 2013, 9:54 GMT

    Actually greenandgold, I agree with Allan Crook. Test umpires don't have to make run out or stumped decisions at all, which we club umpires do.

  • POSTED BY anver777 on | June 26, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    Billy's signalling actions in the middle will be fondly missed by his fans !!!! I'm certainly one of them.... sure he will come back strongly !!!!

  • POSTED BY creekeetman on | June 26, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    @ Ken, why should a WI umpire be picked? just because? or because he deserves it? if its because he deserves it, then there's your reason why no WI umpire is on the panel.

  • POSTED BY on | June 26, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    The last thing I would expect was to see Asad Rauf and Billy Bowden out of the Elite Panel of Umpires. They both have a tremendous caliber of Umpiring and dictating terms. There are very few Umpires in the world who could really stand strong against Big Players and their objections, they both were one of them.

    Regarding Bruce Oxenford. I have no idea of what criteria was he selected under. If a umpire cant make a right decision even with all the technology and camera's available, he should not be even considered for selection in Elite Panel.. I mean that is what I understand as meaning of (Elite).

  • POSTED BY keptalittlelow on | June 26, 2013, 9:17 GMT

    I have to say Rauf and Billy were still better than a couple of names in the list, why the parameters on which ICC works to assess an umpire's performance is made public?

  • POSTED BY creekeetman on | June 26, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    good job by the icc, both umpires who were dropped from the panel were below their best recently, while reiffel and Illingworth have been quite good.

  • POSTED BY on | June 26, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    Its pretty disgusting and highly improper that there are so many Englishman on the Elite panel and NOT A SINGLE West Indian

  • POSTED BY Strongscotch on | June 26, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    Paul Reiffel is not better than Rauf..

  • POSTED BY Green_and_Gold on | June 26, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    @Allan Crook / exiledtyke - actually the umpires dont get all those things (snikko, hot spot etc) when they have to make a decision in the game. These things are only when they are challenged or as part of the commentary. Test umpires also have thousands of people watching them and they can affect the careers of elite players as well as the entertainment of the fans. Their impact of getting a decision wrong is far greater in the bigger scheme of things. Thats not to mention that all this technology is now being used as part of their overall review (in regards to their employment).

  • POSTED BY on | June 26, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    Maybe a criteria should also be of bias along with the other statistics. When they do get decisions wrong, who are they wrong against? The team they decide against should also be considered. I thought Bowden was one of the people everyone respected. I don't see Ian Gould, for instance, as someone I would trust when Pakistan plays. Its a matter of watching them officiate that the people watching them on TV develop these likes and dislikes. Its hard to keep track of such stats, but I think it might help if there was a way to do so in keeping the game fair.

  • POSTED BY bharath74 on | June 26, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    Too bad, we will miss both Billy & Rauf. Got to say that Dharmasena improved a lot

  • POSTED BY Aillly on | June 26, 2013, 7:39 GMT

    would like to know the parameters on which ICC works to assess an umpire's performance ... its this some points system, then we should not say "dropped from elite panel" rather we should say they could not make it to elite panel.

  • POSTED BY exiledtyke on | June 26, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    #Allan Crook said; You've actually got things the wrong way round dganger. Its us grass root umpires out there on a Saturday / sunday that are under pressure. Test umpires don't have to make a decision at all. Everythings put on a plate for them, I wish we had snickomiters, hotspots and replays. We are the ones that have to get things right all the time. Its not easy out there.

    Agree with that 100%. Also there is a lot less comeback on league players that are abusive and dispute decisions.

  • POSTED BY Samar_Singh on | June 26, 2013, 4:38 GMT

    Sad that Billy is not in the selection. But how ? Only god knows. Billy is better than most in the list.

  • POSTED BY RIZAN18 on | June 26, 2013, 4:10 GMT

    Even the DRS review system needs amendments, Because if the umpire does a mistake and gives a decision, the players call for a review and if the player wins the review decision they should have the benefit of another review because they lose the review option even if they win or lose the review, whereas there is only one review and they lose that review as well even if the verdict is right or wrong....therefore if the umpires verdict was wrong the teams should get the benefit of getting another option as well...............Why pay for others mistakes

  • POSTED BY on | June 26, 2013, 4:00 GMT

    just one correction.Reiffel played his last ODI on 29th June 1999

  • POSTED BY on | June 26, 2013, 3:43 GMT

    You've actually got things the wrong way round dganger. Its us grass root umpires out there on a Saturday / sunday that are under pressure. Test umpires don't have to make a decision at all. Everythings put on a plate for them, I wish we had snickomiters, hotspots and replays. We are the ones that have to get things right all the time. Its not easy out there.

  • POSTED BY on | June 26, 2013, 3:37 GMT

    Sad to see Billy being axed. For once he brought life and charisma and some personality ethic needed in professions like cricket umpiring which other wise was very mundane. As I see did ICC carry out regular briefing sessions on the history of his performance or did they do an annual appraisal. It is time that umpires are given set of KRA and be judged aganst the set of KRA annually

  • POSTED BY on | June 26, 2013, 3:30 GMT

    Welcome Kumar Darmasena to Elite Panel for This Year too..Decision on Asad rauff Is a Welcome Decision.

  • POSTED BY dalboy12 on | June 26, 2013, 2:26 GMT

    Seems tough on Billy, but I like how past players are turning to umpiring, they must have a good feel for game. My argument for DRS is that each team should only have one challenge per innings to stop the howlers. But apart from that it should be left to the umpires to use it - the same as it is for run outs and stumpings. This way the umpires are not made to look bad in front of millions of people with the advantage of slow-motion replays etc. So umpires can ask questions or refer decisions to the third umpire and the technology that they are able to use. For me, this just seems fairer for the umpires. To stand in front of crowds and have your decisions assessed by technology in in front 50 000 people just seems a rough deal. That said, I'm a big fan of DRS and its use even if you take out the ball prediction part of it and just use it for caught behinds and to check for inside edges and where impact occurred for LBWs.

  • POSTED BY Philly.rocks on | June 26, 2013, 1:55 GMT

    Dropping Billy Bowden and Asad Rauf from elite panel is definitely a good decision. Surprisingly, Rod Tucker is still hanging in there at Elite Panel after so many bad decisions given by him. I just think Enamul Haq should be in elite panel ahead of Illingworth.

  • POSTED BY Shongololo on | June 26, 2013, 1:00 GMT

    Oxenford struggles to get decisions right as the third umpire, with all the technology and replays at his disposal. How he remains an elite 'on field' umpire remains a mystery.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | June 25, 2013, 23:49 GMT

    Peter Dembitzer 100% agree with you about Rod Tucker. I looked back at the commentary & articles about the dismissal of Kallis that you refer to, & it was simply bizarre. Its not that Tucker made a marginal call on the field, but that he overturned the on-field umpire's not-out decision when the batsman was clearly not out.! He sat there watching replay after replay, which showed the ball brushing the glove, and simply ignored the inconvenient fact that the glove was not holding the bat! I remember Kumar Dharmasena looking stunned that he had got it right & then had to give Kallis out.

    In the cricinfo commentary there were 2 very telling lines: "Oh, my goodness, he's given him! This will be controversial," and then two balls later, "Before anyone says, that isn't a failure of the DRS but a failure of the umpiring." That decision set DRS back because it created a howler - a real Darrell Hair special if ever there was. How Tucker is considered elite is beyond understanding!

  • POSTED BY Gabbagod on | June 25, 2013, 23:33 GMT

    Bowden made a massive mistake that gifted England the Ashes in 2005. Kasper was never out but given out with Australia needing 3 runs for victory at Edgbaston - he was never held responsible for probably the biggest mistake in Ashes history and this dumping is 8 years too late. If England had have been on the receiving end of this decision, Fleet Street would have gone into meltdown.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | June 25, 2013, 23:23 GMT

    It is sad to see no Indian umpires on the panel. A fair reflection of the standard in India.

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 20:42 GMT

    Good to see people promoted based on merit congrats to Paul and Richard on their elevation however on a sad note as a West Indian I am saddened that no West Indian made the list following the exit of Billy Doctrove.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | June 25, 2013, 20:35 GMT

    How is Steve Davis in ahead of Billy Bowden?

  • POSTED BY Farrukh.91. on | June 25, 2013, 17:55 GMT

    Amazing to see Billy out and Steve holding the place inspite of poor umpiring!

  • POSTED BY SLfan on | June 25, 2013, 17:51 GMT

    I think Bruce Oxenford does not deserve to be in the elite panel.He gives too many wrong decisions....Aleem Dar, Marais Erasmus, Tony Hill, Rod Tucker and Kumar Dharmasena are thoroughly deserved to be in the panel.

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 17:41 GMT

    i think they should develop a ranking system for umpires and each wrong decision may result in loosing some points then analyze things after year, we have seen almost all of elite panel umpires doing some very wrong decisions. in 1 test during pak tour to SL, umpires almost gave 14 wrong decisions. no body is perfect. even aleem dar's last 12 months have some poor decisions.

    A ranking system may help instead of selection.

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 17:13 GMT

    I'm surprised that Bruce Oxenford is included after seeing the quality of his decision making which was poor. Tim Southee was plumb LBW but umpire gave it not out which prevented Sri Lanka from victory, in the final Ian Bell was given stumped when there was no evidence to suggest his foot was in the air. That was as a 3rd umpire with technology at his disposal. Please publish

  • POSTED BY samrao on | June 25, 2013, 16:45 GMT

    No Indian umpire has figured in the elite panel since Venkataraghavan retired and the BCCI is not really bothered about this fact. Serious efforts should be made to identify suitable candidates should be made.

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 16:27 GMT

    @Yarms, because it's not about first class cricket usually. A lot of it has to do with how the umpires in International Cricket fared. At least, that's what I know of. That's my best guess.

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 16:17 GMT

    I think Rod tucker too had to be dismissed. About DRS I think the rule could change so that each team will have one review per ten overs. ( Not five reviews, just one per ten) Once you use the one and it comes off bad they won't have another review till the 10th over. and if they haven't used it after ten overs,they only have one for the next ten, they do not get to keep the review of the previous ten. this way DRS will be more useful.

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 16:16 GMT

    No Indian Umpire again in the elite panel. Something transformational needs to be done in the Umpiring arena as well. IPL is a good platform for Indian umpires to perform.... Hoping to see atleast 1 Indian umpire inthe elite panel in the next review

  • POSTED BY sweet2hrme on | June 25, 2013, 16:08 GMT

    Nice to see ICC finally have taken a good decision. Billy & Rauf their recent umpiring records are poor. They hv given some poor decisions specially when team dont have any reviews left. There are still few umpires left they should also penalised.

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 15:43 GMT

    billy bowden out....very surprising now all the cricket fans will not be able to see the his animated gestures on the field.. talking about DRS, my opinion is that there is no need for on-field umpires if there is DRS....but then too I always favour human over machines...everyone knows human is the best 'machine' created by the Almighty. Also in this elite panel, no one can perfectly fill the empty spot of the young gentlemen and probably the best umpire of the world in all time...can you guess? obviously Simon Tauffel..really everyone cricket fan would be missing him

  • POSTED BY PFEL on | June 25, 2013, 15:19 GMT

    As a matter of fact DRS is taking pressure OFF the umpires, quite signifcantly. While, yes, they can make erroneous decisions and they may be challenged and overturned, leading to some minor embarassment perhaps? But in the days before DRS they would make wrong decisions, which are then shown on big screen and tv for all to see and it is a lot worse when they are not overturned and the poor decision and injustice continues. What is worse, knowing you made an error that was overturned or making an error that can decide a match, series or a player's career?

  • POSTED BY Cold_Drink on | June 25, 2013, 15:17 GMT

    I think Simon Taufel could go for another 10 years easily and be the top rated. Illingworth, Rod Tucker (with so many stupid decisions in last couple of years) do not feature elite panel in my view. Billy Bowden is dropped understandably as his sharpness was declining. I think Enamul Haq Moni was far better when he officiated NZL Test series last year (with excellect job done) and he is been doing a great job as ODI umpire, it would perfect time for him to be promoted to Elite panel rather than appointing him here and there.

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 15:12 GMT

    still I believe the best set of umpires are Dharmasena - Aleem Dar and Richard Kattelborough and Nigel Long

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 14:53 GMT

    A human umpire adds to the game's charm. Lets use the DRS as a supplementary tool in the umpire's arsenal. If the DRS helps the umpire in reaching the correct verdict, so be it. Somehow we have to prevent this decent human being from any kind of embarrassment. Its a lonely job; a very tough job where u cannot even for a moment be distracted. I don't know how they do it.

  • POSTED BY Haleos on | June 25, 2013, 14:39 GMT

    @MihirMohanty - Most of our umpires are sub standard. All were seen in IPL and they were hardly international standard. It hurts but is true. We should accept it and not be in denial. Although some of the elite are no less prone to error. DRS should be used by the third umpire all the time for obvious howlers. The teams should be spared the senseless issue of asking for it. Problem solved all happy. Some howlers may still remain due to brain freeze from a third umpire though :).

  • POSTED BY Sheela on | June 25, 2013, 14:35 GMT

    For all international matches, it is better that decision to declare no-ball is left to third umpire so that pressure on on-field umpires gets considerably reduced and they can concentrate on other matters/aspects.

  • POSTED BY Yarms on | June 25, 2013, 14:04 GMT

    I wonder how selection of the panel works. It's surprising with all of the first class cricket played in India their are no elite panel umpires from there? Does any one know why?

  • POSTED BY dork29 on | June 25, 2013, 14:01 GMT

    It is an interesting debate - why do you need on field umpires when you have DRS? I think having both is important. Each entity has a role to play. The on field uppire becomes more cautious before giving a decision, because he always knows there is big brother watching ( though it might put him under greater pressure), the players have a neutral referee to go to if they feel they have been hard done by and finally it is not as if every decision by the on field umpire can be questioned. There are only a finite number of appeals you can make, so the machine is not undermining the influence of the on field umpire.In these days of high commercial stakes, an accurate decision can make or mar a match, a career or the very charm of the game. So while DRS is important, the on field umpires are as important. Probably, ICC could work on a strategy, where the on field upire is AIDED by technology to make an eductaed decision, when in doubt. That would be an alchemy of the man and the machine.

  • POSTED BY cricket-india on | June 25, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    funny this happened today...I've just been thinking how umpires in general have been getting a raw deal. they are overworked - there's only a few of them and everyone wants the best umpires for their games - and the added pressure of the DRS isn't helping. the classic heads I win tails u lose situation- if there's DRS there's bound to be an overturned decision, atleast a marginal one, even for the best umpire. if there's no DRS the TVs will capture mistakes anyway. rapid commercialization of the game has meant games every other day and while players are rested or take breaks on their own, umpires get no such luxury. perhaps this is what led to the retirement of taufel, he decided to go before the workload took a toll on his quality. I also agree with the many posters here who point out the atrocity of oxenford being on the panel; the guy gave ridiculous decisions in the Sydney test as well, and isn't good enough to be a third umpire, forget being an on field one!!

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 13:22 GMT

    After seeing some of the decisions esp ball missing the stumps by few mm, has made me to dislike DRS and pity on Umpires, how can ppl expect Umpires to be very accurate in their decision. The DRS should include some margin of error i.e. acceptable range, where in if the ball passes above the range it should be considered as out. Some of the overturned decisions are def out to a naked eye or just replace the umpires with robots which can do u millions of analysis in a second and give a decision.

  • POSTED BY HumungousFungus on | June 25, 2013, 13:16 GMT

    I think that this highlights a slightly bigger issue. I suspect that the ICC would have wanted to remove more than Bowden and Rauf, but were prevented from doing so by the lack of suitable replacements. Part of the problem is the significant number of international qualities (Peter Willey foremost) who refuse to go on the Elite Panel because of the amount of travel and time away from home involved. Both Bowden and Rauf have been sliding for a number of years, but so have all of Dharmasena, Erasmus, Hill, Tucker, and Gould...Reiffel (particularly) and Illingworth have both impressed me, so I am glad to see them both deservedly move upwards. One additional note: This now means that the 10 back to back Ashes tests will be spread between 5 umpires (Dharmasena, Ersasmus, Hill, Dar, and Oxenford), which is going to be...interesting...

  • POSTED BY Captainman on | June 25, 2013, 12:53 GMT

    A lot of these umpires i.e. Rod Tucker and Tony Hill are rubbish. Far too many mistakes from them and it ruins the game. Aleem Dar is by far the best. He doesn't care whether the team is top or low, he makes fair decisions to the best of his ability. Aleem Dar should have a bigger say regarding umpiring. He's been a great service to the game.

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    I still cannot understand why people says if the ball pitch outside of the line cannnot be given out despite the fact the impact with the pad is in-line and then DSR suggest its on-fileld call. I believe if the impact with the pad is within line it should be out if no bat is involved. But the biggest issue is umpires are reluctant to give out if the batsman is a renowned one. Umpires should make sure to give decisions according to their conscience and number of reviews should be increased with a penalty system against the teams by deducting points in a tournament.

  • POSTED BY Sigismund on | June 25, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    This doesn't mean their careers are over - they might get picked next time. I do wonder about how intelligently they review their performances. For example, much is surely made of their percentages for decisions overturned/upheld on review. But I have seen several cases of 'not out' decisions overturned on review, when actually the umpire made an excellent decision: there was far too much doubt, and only the TV microscope could reveal e.g. it was pad first. Conversely, giving a batsman out lbw when the ball was maybe just clipping leg stump is actually a poor decision - but it will be upheld by the review.

  • POSTED BY PeterJerome on | June 25, 2013, 12:00 GMT

    I dont really understand the logic of a DRS and an onfield umpire. Have either one of them and do away with the other. Onfield umpires add much value and charisma to a game of cricket. The ICC could have a ranking system for the umpires instead, which would press them to perform to their level best. If they still do make mistakes, well its human and let them drop in their ranking. Humans sport, win/loss, machines dont. Keep the machines for information and let the humans sport. I wonder what is the basic infrastructure provided by ICC to train umpires (if any)

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 11:44 GMT

    I miss umpires like Peter Wiley,Dave Orchard,Simon Taufel who were all unfazed by pressure and excessive appeals. Such umpires are needed the most now. Don't get to see Aleem Dar officiating a lot these days,so only Kumar Dharmasena looks very promising. The rest are all hit and miss types. But then Umpiring is tougher than anything in Cricket

  • POSTED BY Teachers on | June 25, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    To MihirMohanty, the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires is based on merit and performance, not on tokenism. It is not about simply presenting contracts to every umpire from every representative country, that would make a mockery of making individual umpires responsible for their performances. This recognition is based on how each umpire does his job, it should not be viewed as a conspiracy theory!!

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | June 25, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    The new guys are both good umpires.Let that not be in question. My reservations over this are more about the two men who have lost that status. Personally Rauf was the first umpire who righted the balance shett for spinners by giving out a succession of batsmen to straightening balls from spinners which others would have deliberately not thought about. To me it was like a revolution in cricket. Maybe not as accurate as Taufel or Dar he nevertheless changed the complexion of the sport in favour of the player against whom all prejudice had bee directed, and whom the ICC still try to direct prejudice at-the spinner, with their rule changes re new balls and allowed deep fielders in ODI's. Fortunately DRS has helped the cause of Rauf along so that batsmen have to play spin with their bats. A great innovator Rauf. So too Bowden, the most colourful umpire with his modified signals including the crooked finger of the reaper for OUT and the extended six signal. I will miss both.

  • POSTED BY gsamiru on | June 25, 2013, 11:18 GMT

    Bruce Oxenford can't even do third umpiring, then no need to talk about his on field performances ...... Anyway wish all the best for all the panel members to go a better job in the year to come ..... !

  • POSTED BY ARJa on | June 25, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    Though I am not a big fan of Bowden, I can't believe they dropped him and kept Tony Hill. Do these people actually watch Cricket? Tony Hill's umpiring is the worst among the so called elite pannel. I have seen him giving out LBW to deliveries which are pitched outside off and turning away from the batsman. Steve Davis have been clearly found out after the DRS as we so clearly in the series between Eng and NZL and Oxenford can't even give a proper decision looking at the TV. Wonderful times are ahead if there is no DRS. That's for sure.

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    I never understood why BCCI and India who has the money and infrastructure (if they want to) have not been able to produce good long term ICC elite panel umpire after S Venkataraghavan? They also hired Simon Taufel's expertise for educating and building good umpires in India. I do not know how long will it be till we see another ICC elite panel umpire from India, while Kudos to Pakistan where they have produced very good umpires without having too much of International cricket exposure at their home because of security situation. Why not send Indian umpires to Australia, SA and England to officiate in the domestic circuit over them to make them more knowledge and better suited for ICC elite panel?

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 11:00 GMT

    Billy's performance was on the way down! Good decision.

  • POSTED BY Sreevathsa_1980 on | June 25, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    The only accurate and flawless umpire was Simon Taufel. After his retirement last year, it's very difficult to get an umpire of his standard again.

  • POSTED BY anton_ego on | June 25, 2013, 10:53 GMT

    Billy? Oh come on! He is the best umpire i have ever seen. His decisions are usually spot on and he keeps the temper of the players in check by engaging in friendly chit chat with players. What a sad day for cricket!

  • POSTED BY Markdal on | June 25, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    As I've now retired from umpiring, I'm allowed to speak my mind. The standard had dropped in recent years. Out of the new panel, I reckon only 5 deserve their spot there - Dar, Gould, Kettleborough, Oxenford and Reiffel. I wasn't convinced by Reiffel for some years, but he's shown me that he's got the goods in recent times. Ox started umpiring the same time that I did, and was pushed prematurely through the ranks because of his standing as a former 1st Class cricketer. He has turned into a superb umpire, and a hell of a nice guy as well. Dar was ordinary in his first few years in International cricket, but has been the best umpire over the last 6 years, along with Simon Taufel. Dharmesena lost me when he started referring every decision for Ryan Harris to video because he couldn't see his front foot. Easy solution - move back!

  • POSTED BY mittheimp on | June 25, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    in response to dganger, the whole watching world can see if there is a mistake, with or without DRS. At least with DRS they may have the comfort of not influencing the decision.

    Billy Bowden has been inadequate for some time, and his recent performance as a third umpire in the ODI's illustrated this clearly.

  • POSTED BY RobTay14 on | June 25, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    Why Billy? I always thought he was one of the better umpires. Sad..

    Can understand Rauf though.

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 10:32 GMT

    Its quite obvious that Billy's idiosyncrasies have masked his blatant shockers to so many people in this forum. Despite DRS, all we need in the Elite umpires panel is accurate decision making and a dash of humor/amusement if possible and not the other way round, which unfortunately, Billy was an example to.

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 10:30 GMT

    I think some other umpires like Steve Davis Could have been removed rather than removing Billy and Asad. These both have made good decisions most of the times. Bruce Oxonfor iis a good umpire but he makes at times even when he is 3rd umpire like he did in the CT final when he given Bell run out while he seemed to be not out.

    These two umpires were better than a lot of others in the ICC Elite Panel.

  • POSTED BY MihirMohanty on | June 25, 2013, 10:29 GMT

    Why there are no Indian umpires in elite panel? Why there are so difference and double mind selecting umpires in this panel. I think Indian umpires have done best job while officiated during IPL matches in n2013 like Nandan , Salimuddin, subroto das, kulkarni. I think they are best as compere to these elite panel. Why ICC does not recognize any Indian umpires for elite panel?

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | June 25, 2013, 10:29 GMT

    No Indian in the list?

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    How Rod Tucker is still an elite umpire only the ICC will know. To reward him for his incompetence with a place in the final is an insult to the many great umpires that went before him. He had more decisions overturned( including plumb LBWs than any other umpire in the tournament. I will never forget his decision as third umpire to give Kallis out caught against England when his hand wasnt even on the bat.

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 10:11 GMT

    Billy's been a source of entertainment and his candor brought something that was unseen in cricket umpiring! Wish they could involve him in matches by some means.

  • POSTED BY Otuwa on | June 25, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    @Anurag Chhabra-I reccomend Vineet Kulkarni and S Ravi.LOL...

  • POSTED BY plmk on | June 25, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    I can clearly understand the case of Asad Rauf, but i dont understand why Billy is out of the panel. Let alone the fame that he got for officiating in a different league all together in comparison to his colleagues, but the charisma he brings on the field will be deeply missed (on a regular basis).

    What is ELITE about the list if the experience (13 Yrs; 75 Tests, 181 ODIs and 19 T20Is) is taken off it. This is a sheer waste of experience.

    Will miss all these guestures "Crooked Finger", "Towering Sixes", "Balley Boundaries", "Dug for your life", "Popping Eyeballs"...... the list can go on.....

  • POSTED BY rickeap on | June 25, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    Billy always seemed like a good umpire to me, and added some colour to the game too

  • POSTED BY ham1990 on | June 25, 2013, 10:00 GMT

    Why no love for Dharmasena? Yes he might have made an error or 2 in recent times, but which umpire hasn't? IMO he's done a decent job in his career so far. A bit sad to see Billy dropped though, he's been fantastic for such a long time.

  • POSTED BY Haleos on | June 25, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    @ choonawala - They are NOT just any issues my friend. They concern bringing the game into disrepute. Anyways understand that the decision was based on pure performance which was not up to the mark which is not far off the mark We have seen asad's umpiring.

  • POSTED BY MartinC on | June 25, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    I think dropping Bowden is a good move - just in the games I have seen he seems to be making more and more mistakes and also appears to be always seeking attention with his antics on the field. I think of him a bit like Dickie Bird who I never warmed to or liked as an umpire - if an umpire is part of the story they are doing something wrong IMO.

    I played against Paul Reiffel in the Lancs League in the 90's - good guy who played at the highest level, will be respected by the players and is very level headed and a good appointment.

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    Oh noes! Not Billy. #crookedfingernomore

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 9:52 GMT

    I absolutely have no idea abt the facts.... But seein bowden out of the Elite panel is a shock..!!

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | June 25, 2013, 9:52 GMT

    Dharmasena , tuker ICC CT13 ?????

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    hope both the new umpires bring better umpiring to the game and will not behave like daryl hair.

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    Great! They finally got rid of Billy. If he spent more time getting decisions right and less time thinking up quirky variations on signals, he would not have been so bad.

  • POSTED BY CrICkeeet on | June 25, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    What ab8 Rod tucker, tony hill, Ian Gould, shabier tarapore? who has d xperice 2 give 3-4 poor decisions almost in each nd evry test?

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    Surprising to see not a single representation from India in the elite panel for ages now. IPL is producing players but not umpires???

  • POSTED BY choonawala on | June 25, 2013, 9:46 GMT

    ICC is always be a bias in their decisions against Pakistan. They always be a prompt when any of Pakistani player, official or Umpires are involved in any issues.

  • POSTED BY ronichayan on | June 25, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    Bowden dropped ???? He was one of my favorite umpires. :(

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    Then they should fired dharmasena, steve davis and ian gould as their umpirind was below standard in recent past....

  • POSTED BY Kitschiguy on | June 25, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    Just Dharmasena to go and then it's job done.

  • POSTED BY wrenx on | June 25, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    Glad that Bowden has finally gone from this list, he's been using theatrics to cover his shockingly poor umpiring for far too long now. What has Reiffel done to merit the promotion?

  • POSTED BY Blewey on | June 25, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    No more trademark billy bowden "crooked finger of doom" Any young emerging umpiring talent suffering from arthritis?

  • POSTED BY Blewey on | June 25, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    No more trademark billy bowden "crooked finger of doom" Any young emerging umpiring talent suffering from arthritis?

  • POSTED BY wrenx on | June 25, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    Glad that Bowden has finally gone from this list, he's been using theatrics to cover his shockingly poor umpiring for far too long now. What has Reiffel done to merit the promotion?

  • POSTED BY Kitschiguy on | June 25, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    Just Dharmasena to go and then it's job done.

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    Then they should fired dharmasena, steve davis and ian gould as their umpirind was below standard in recent past....

  • POSTED BY ronichayan on | June 25, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    Bowden dropped ???? He was one of my favorite umpires. :(

  • POSTED BY choonawala on | June 25, 2013, 9:46 GMT

    ICC is always be a bias in their decisions against Pakistan. They always be a prompt when any of Pakistani player, official or Umpires are involved in any issues.

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    Surprising to see not a single representation from India in the elite panel for ages now. IPL is producing players but not umpires???

  • POSTED BY CrICkeeet on | June 25, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    What ab8 Rod tucker, tony hill, Ian Gould, shabier tarapore? who has d xperice 2 give 3-4 poor decisions almost in each nd evry test?

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    Great! They finally got rid of Billy. If he spent more time getting decisions right and less time thinking up quirky variations on signals, he would not have been so bad.

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    hope both the new umpires bring better umpiring to the game and will not behave like daryl hair.