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Bowden returns to ICC elite panel

ESPNcricinfo staff

May 1, 2014

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Alastair Cook was not impressed when the ball was changed, England v Sri Lanka, Champions Trophy, Group A, The Oval, June 13, 2013
Billy Bowden previously served on the elite panel from 2003 to 2013 © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Billy Bowden

Billy Bowden is back on the elite panel of ICC umpires for 2014-15. Bowden is the only change to the panel following the ICC's annual review and selection process, and has replaced fellow New Zealander Tony Hill, who had stepped down earlier this year to become the New Zealand Cricket umpire coach.

Bowden previously served on the elite panel from 2003 to 2013 and has so far umpired in 76 Tests, 189 ODIs and 21 T20 internationals. He was dropped from the panel in June 2013 but was later announced as one of the on-field umpires for the third Ashes Test in Perth and the TV umpire for the fourth Test in Melbourne.

The elite panel was selected by a group chaired by Geoff Allardice, the ICC general manager - cricket, Ranjan Madugalle, the ICC chief match referee, David Lloyd, the former England player, coach and umpire and Srinivas Venkataraghavan, the former India captain and international umpire.

"Billy's return to the elite panel is a result of his hard work and perseverance," Allardice said. "His skills and experience will further strengthen the ICC umpiring team."

Elite panel of ICC umpires: Aleem Dar, Billy Bowden, Kumar Dharmasena, Steve Davis, Marais Erasmus, Ian Gould, Richard Illingworth, Richard Kettleborough, Nigel Llong, Bruce Oxenford, Paul Reiffel, Rod Tucker

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Posted by   on (May 2, 2014, 6:08 GMT)

It a shame that their no West Indies umpire.

Posted by BEDEKAR on (May 2, 2014, 5:32 GMT)

Why no Indian umpire? S Ravi ,Shamsuddin , and Vineet Kulkarni are as good as any one of the above.

Posted by Udendra on (May 2, 2014, 4:48 GMT)

Nigel Long and Rod Tucker are the weak elements in this panel. They make more mistakes than others.

Posted by regofpicton on (May 1, 2014, 20:31 GMT)

Well said Shane-oh. All umpires make mistakes, but Billy makes fewer than most. It is true his style doesn't please everyone, and is perhaps most suitable for "entertainment-grade" cricket such as T20, but his decision making is consistently of a very high standard.

Posted by   on (May 1, 2014, 17:17 GMT)

who's the best umpire are in the elite panel???

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (May 1, 2014, 13:48 GMT)

@Ed Fuller, In DRS when they give that margin of just hitting, its because they want to eliminate that fault factor which DRS has.

Posted by   on (May 1, 2014, 12:29 GMT)

I was once given out Bowled when the ball only just clipped the outside of the stump. So what if both bails came off - only 25% of the ball was hitting the stump!! I was furious!!

Posted by shane-oh on (May 1, 2014, 12:09 GMT)

@CricLover316 - I think you will find that's exactly what the ICC do - they rank the umpires based on their performances, and then determine from there who sits in the elite panel. Bowden has a proven history of good decision making. that's not to say he never makes mistakes, as they all do. But most often his decisions are correct, and he's even proven in the past he can withstand having 11 Australians in his face screaming abuse at him and still make the correct call. It's great to see him back in.

Posted by CricLover316 on (May 1, 2014, 11:41 GMT)

@shane-oh- Well, Not really mate. I'm considering it in a more broader sense regarding his decisions making. He used to give some great decisions,but its been hot and cold for him since a year or so. There are many other better umpires than him. As I said, There was a reason billy was left out of the panel. I cant see his umpiring has improved from where he was left out, so was wondering how is he back in the panel ? With the DRS still flawed imo, specially when it comes to Umpire's call in LBW when he gives it out, the ball has to miss all the stumps to reverse the Umpire's call,but all if the umpire gives it out,it has to just clip it.Thats a different issue,but wouldn't it be better for Cricket,if the best out of the best are chosen, specially for Tests ? Ranking the umpires and then adding them into the panel would be better for them and for Cricket overall.

Posted by Z.Saleem on (May 1, 2014, 11:32 GMT)

only Steve Davis (who has a poor record) should not be in this panel at all! He is too old to umpire an International game and time will prove my point yet again about him.

Posted by   on (May 1, 2014, 10:56 GMT)

Good to see the return of one of cricket's more colorful characters. Good job Billy!

Posted by   on (May 1, 2014, 10:45 GMT)

The absence of a West Indian from the panel is stiking. Is it that there are no umpires from this region who fit the criteria required to be on this panel?

Posted by shane-oh on (May 1, 2014, 10:42 GMT)

@CricLover316 - actually, Bowden is widely recognised as one of the most accurate umpires in the game. I can only assume he gave a decision that went against the team you support, and since then you have convinced yourself that he is terrible.

Posted by dogandbone on (May 1, 2014, 10:37 GMT)

well done Billy...should never have been left off.

Posted by o-bomb on (May 1, 2014, 9:49 GMT)

Is there a set limit to the number of umpires who can be on the elite panel? I notice there have been only 12 for a long time now. There is a lot of pressure on these 12 umpires. Surely if there are more umpires who are capable of umpiring at the top standard they should also be added to the elite panel. This would ease the pressure on the umpires on the panel and mean that they wouldn't all have to spend so much time travelling the world being away from their homes and families. On a separate note, I'm still amazed there are no Indian umpires on this panel, and only 2 Asian umpires at the moment. Surely there are more umpires from that part of the world who can officiate at the top level. What happened to Asad Rauf for example?

Posted by CricLover316 on (May 1, 2014, 9:24 GMT)

This is really a Shocking one. Is it April Fools Day now? May be ICC's observing it a month later. Billy was left out of the Elite Panel for a Reason that often he gave a large number of Horrendous decisions. And just recently we saw it in an RCB game.Nothing against the guy,but it seems he makes it more about himself than the game itself more often that not. He is just so stubborn. He has been in the eye of Controversy with some baffling decisions and to include him in the Elite panel is not a good move. There are better umpires than him.

As mentioned by Khurram, I think the ICC should have a Yearly Performance Review System Ranking the Umpires' performance and picking Top 10 or Top 15 rather than including the new ones.

Posted by Markdal on (May 1, 2014, 9:00 GMT)

I'm assuming that neither of you gentlemen have actually umpired cricket to any level. To put an arbitrary "point deduction" on decisions would be both unfair and just plain wrong. Some decisions are easier than others, and some are virtually impossible to give, you are relying on instinct. A good friend of mine, former Test umpire Dave Orchard, told me that when you get to that level, it's assumed that you have the "ins and outs" sorted out, and Test umpires are picked as much for their man-management skills. I personally agree that there are a few blokes who probably shouldn't be on the elite panel, but we don't get to see their man-management from beyond the boundary, and they have the video to help out anyway.

Posted by A.Ghafoor on (May 1, 2014, 8:10 GMT)

I agree to khurram that there should be some point system to eliminate the dust and add the deserving ones. there should be a second group of umpires who should be on line to join the Elite panel.

Posted by android_user on (May 1, 2014, 6:35 GMT)

there should be some ranking system for umpires and each wrong decision should result in some - points. and a limit, below which umpire should not be in elite panel. that way it will be more better. we have seen many non elite panel umpires doing a great job. and some elite panel umpires in this list have long history of making errors in each game.

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