April 4, 2003

Bowden to step into role with umpiring elite

New Zealand umpire Brent Bowden has been added to the International Cricket Council's elite panel of umpires.

While no official announcement has been made by the ICC, New Zealand Cricket announced the appointment at its annual awards night.

Bowden is in Dubai for a meeting of the international panel and will head to Dhaka shortly for the TVS Cup tri-series involving home team Bangladesh, India and South Africa.

It is understood that Bowden is one of three new appointments to the panel which has been extended from that first announced last year.

Bowden was on the panel of umpires for the World Cup in South Africa and was awarded the fourth umpire's role for the final between Australia and India.

Bowden, who turns 40 on April 11, made his first-class umpiring debut in the summer of 1992/93, and was immediately recognisable for the variations he developed on the traditional umpiring signals, especially as Cricket Max was developed and varied, but also in one-day cricket.

He has stood in three Tests and 32 One-Day Internationals.

His first Test was the 1999/00 first Test between Australia and New Zealand at Eden Park. His most recent ODI was the World Cup semi-final between Australia and Kenya.

New Zealand umpiring manager Brian Aldridge said: "We are extremely pleased for Billy [Bowden's nickname]. He has worked hard for this recognition which is well deserved.

"The quality of Billy's umpiring impressed the ICC during the early stages of [the] World Cup. This lead to umpiring opportunities in later matches and culminated in the appointment.

"The appointment has been a goal of Billy's and is a significant achievement."