ICC news June 4, 2015

S Ravi and Chris Gaffaney in Elite Panel

ESPNcricinfo staff

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'Indian umpiring has had lot of success stories of late' - Taufel

Umpires Chris Gaffaney and S Ravi have been promoted to the ICC's Elite Panel of umpires for 2015-16. They will replace Billy Bowden, and the retiring Steve Davis.

Ravi is only the second Indian, after S Venkataraghavan, to make the Elite Panel since its inception in 2002. He has stood in six Tests, including the recently completed series between England and New Zealand, 24 ODI - three of which were during the 2015 World Cup - and 12 T20s.

"I have always enjoyed the company of those umpires already on the Elite Panel and now I have the chance to work with them all on a more regular basis," Ravi said. "I am really looking forward to the challenges ahead and aim to maintain a high standard of umpiring."

Ravi's elevation will not come as a surprise to former Elite Panel umpire Simon Taufel, who gave high marks to Indian umpires in an interaction with ESPNcricinfo recently. Although Taufel, who is advisor and mentor to BCCI's Elite Panel of umpires, was non-committal over why Indians had not been in the panel for so long, he stressed the big strides made by the likes of Ravi in the last few years to make themselves eligible.

"Our focus is to improve Indian domestic umpiring. We have produced four quality International Panel umpires," Taufel said. "They are doing extremely well and one of them [S Ravi] officiated at Lord's in a Test match. It is his fifth Test match. He has been to a World Cup and put his name up for selection."

Gaffaney began his international career as an umpire in 2010 and has worked two Tests, 41 ODIs - three during the 2015 World Cup - and 15 T20Is.

"I have a number of people to thank, especially those who have assisted from the very beginning of my umpire career, and will be doing this individually in due course," he said. "I, however, need to mention the support and understanding of both the NZC and the Police force, who allowed me the opportunity to follow my career as a policeman and also as an umpire. I am extremely grateful for their understanding, which has made this possible."

The 2015-16 team was picked by the ICC umpires selection panel consisting of ICC general manager Geoff Allardice, chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle, former England player, coach and umpire David Lloyd, and S Venkataraghavan, the former India captain and umpire.

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