The Ashes 2013-14

Bowden brought back for Ashes

ESPNcricinfo staff

November 9, 2013

Comments: 30 | Text size: A | A

Michael Beer thought he had his first Test wicket until Billy Bowden called no ball, Australia v England, 5th Test, Sydney, 2nd day, January 4, 2011
Billy Bowden, pictured officiating during the previous Ashes in Australia, has been brought in for the upcoming series © Getty Images

Billy Bowden is to return to elite-level umpiring during the Ashes after being drafted in for the upcoming series in Australia. Bowden was dropped from the ICC's Elite Panel of umpires in June but has been announced as one of the on-field umpires for the third Test in Perth and the TV umpire in Melbourne.

Umpiring decisions had been a source of controversy during the Ashes series in England, particularly with regard to the officials' use of the Decision Review System. The fact that only four of the 12-man Elite Panel are not English or Australian put further strain on the four neutral umpires involved: Aleem Dar, Kumar Dharmasena, Marais Erasmus and Tony Hill.

Hill, Bowden's fellow New Zealander, will be employed only in the third umpire's chair in Australia, which the ICC said was a move aimed at introducing more consistency in the application of the DRS.

"We felt that we needed to spread the appointments across five umpires for the five-Test series, rather than just the four that were used in the UK," the ICC's general manager of cricket operations, Geoff Allardice, said. "Billy Bowden is the most experienced umpire on the International Panel, and understands what is needed for the umpiring team to perform well in high-profile Test matches.

"Appointing Tony Hill as TV umpire in three of the five matches is recognition that the role is becoming increasingly important in a DRS series. Having the same person in the chair more often should translate into more consistent decisions being made."

A number of decision during the previous Ashes became flashpoints, with particular doubt cast over the reliability of the Hot Spot technology used as part of the DRS. Allardice met with the management of both teams between the third and fourth Tests to discuss flaws in the system, with the dismissals of Jonathan Trott at Lord's and Usman Khawaja at Old Trafford subjected to particular external scrutiny.

Precise details of the DRS set-up to be used in Australia have yet to be confirmed. England travelled Down Under believing that Hot Spot would not be utilised in the series but talks have reportedly resumed between the host broadcaster, Channel Nine, and BBG Sports, the company which provides the technology, with the potential for Real Time Snicko - a more complex procedure for detecting edges - to be used in conjunction with thermal imaging.

Ashes 2013-14 umpires

Brisbane - Dar, Dharmasena; Erasmus (TV umpire)
Adelaide - Erasmus, Dharmasena; Hill
Perth - Erasmus, Bowden; Hill
Melbourne - Dar, Dharmasena; Bowden
Sydney - Dar, Erasmus; Hill

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by whensdrinks on (November 15, 2013, 2:58 GMT)

If Bowden is as good as it gets then International Umpiring is in trouble. The "having to have neutral umpires" hurts Australia and the Commonwealth Invitational IX, sorry England, as most of the best umpires come from England and Oz. Why can't we have one non-neutral umpire when they are better then what we do get served up repeatedly? It is a pity that Simon Taufel cannot stand at a Boxing Day Test and would have been a travesty if Shep or Dicky could never have officiated at Lords.

Posted by mrmonty on (November 12, 2013, 17:24 GMT)

Guys...guys...just like you have been spoiled by Adam Gilchrist to raise your standards for wicket-keeper-batsman, without your knowing it, you also have been led to believe that all umpires would be Simon Taufel. Welcome back to reality.

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 21:28 GMT)

They have missed out on the opportunity of appointing the most perfect umpire in the world, umpire gainballa

Posted by KARMARKAR on (November 10, 2013, 18:49 GMT)

Good Decision by ICC. Billy is my favorite umpire

Posted by BiggerAl66 on (November 10, 2013, 13:35 GMT)

Billy Bowden, Aleem Dar and Marais Erasmus are all excellent umpires. They all make mistakes, but are only human. With various replays and DRS, it makes umpires sometimes look worse than they actually are. I think the standard of umpiring is as good as it has ever been. I am sure Dicky Bird made a few mistakes, but the TV coverage did not make them look so obvious.

Posted by milepost on (November 10, 2013, 9:16 GMT)

Bowden is rated as a good umpire and a number of players say that he is the best decision maker in cricket.

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (November 10, 2013, 6:53 GMT)

Bowden - a good umpire? Since when?

Posted by CrICkeeet on (November 10, 2013, 6:26 GMT)

Rod Tucker, Ian Gould, Ashoka de Silva, Tarapore, Tony hill, Bowden... I always frightened 2 watch a match when i could see them umpiring...

Posted by azzaman333 on (November 10, 2013, 5:10 GMT)

With any luck, Erasmus and Dar will be picked for all 5 tests, because I shudder to think what'll happen if we get Bowden and Dharmasena out in the middle with Hill operating as 3rd ump. It'd almost be preferable for the batting team to send a couple of their players out to umpire.

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 3:47 GMT)

I think the ICC have missed a great opportunity to have one Australian and one English umpire stand as the on field officials, in the five ashes test matches, with a neutral TV umpire. Obviously this is not the current policy of selection of umpires for test matches, but this would be the right time to try something for the potential benefit to the game.

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email Feedback Print
ESPNcricinfo staffClose
Tour Results
Australia v England at Sydney - Feb 2, 2014
Australia won by 84 runs
Australia v England at Melbourne - Jan 31, 2014
Australia won by 8 wickets (with 31 balls remaining)
Australia v England at Hobart - Jan 29, 2014
Australia won by 13 runs
Australia v England at Adelaide - Jan 26, 2014
Australia won by 5 runs
Australia v England at Perth - Jan 24, 2014
England won by 57 runs
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days