Paul Reiffel has become the first former Australia Test player to be added to the ICC international panel of umpires. Reiffel has been promoted to the group in the smaller role of TV umpire, which means he can now be appointed as the third official for Tests and one-day internationals.
The retirement of Peter Parker sparked the move, which has also allowed the former Tasmania and New South Wales player Rod Tucker to jump from TV umpire to on-field official. It means Australia's entire international panel - which Cricket Australia nominates to the ICC - is made up of former first-class players with Tucker and Reiffel joined by Queensland's Bruce Oxenford.
Reiffel, 42, played 35 Tests and 92 ODIs as a fast bowler during the 1990s before retiring from first-class cricket in 2001-02 and making his interstate umpiring debut in 2004-05. Reiffel has stood in 21 first-class matches and 20 domestic one-day fixtures.
He is the second man after Tucker to be promoted to the international panel from Cricket Australia's project panel, which started in 2002 with the aim of fast-tracking former first-class players into umpiring. That programme will continue with the development of Paul Wilson, the fast bowler who played one Test for Australia.
Wilson was added to the project panel in 2006 and will make his interstate debut alongside Reiffel in an FR Cup match at the WACA today. But notably, the three Australian officials who are on the ICC's elite panel, Daryl Harper, Steve Davis, and the world's top umpire, Simon Taufel, have no high-level playing experience.
Australians on the ICC's elite panel Steve Davis (SA), Daryl Harper (SA), Simon Taufel (NSW).
Cricket Australia's international panel Bruce Oxenford (Qld), Rod Tucker (NSW), Paul Reiffel (TV umpire, Vic).
National umpires' panel Jeff Brookes (WA), Andrew Craig (WA), Simon Fry (SA), Ian Lock (WA), Mick Martell (WA), Bruce Oxenford (Qld), Bob Parry (Vic), Paul Reiffel (Vic), Rod Tucker (NSW), John Ward (VIC), Tony Ward (Vic).