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 They have been replaced by England's Richard Illingworth and Australia's Paul Reiffel in the 12-member panel for the 2013-2014 season starting on July 1, 2013.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