Asoka de Silva and Steve Davis promoted to Elite Panel

The Sri Lankan umpire Asoka de Silva and Steve Davis of Australia have been promoted to ICC's Elite Panel, following the body's decision to expand the pool from 10 to 12 umpires.

de Silva, the former legspinner who played 10 Tests and 28 ODIs between 1985 and 1992, was one of eight full-time umpires selected for the ICC's Elite Panel when it was first introduced in 2002. de Silva has stood in 33 Tests and 76 ODIs after making his debut in 1999 and has served previously on the Elite Panel between 2002 and 2004.

Davis, 56, has stood in 11 Tests, 71 ODIs and three Twenty20 Internationals having made his top-level debut in 1992.

"Their promotions are a result of perseverance, hard work and commitment and I am sure these two umpires will serve as an inspiration to the other international umpires who are striving hard to break into the Elite Panel," Dave Richardson, the ICC's general manager, said. "For Asoka, it will be his second time in the Elite Panel and he has returned after performing outstandingly on the international panel over the past 12 months.

"Asoka brings with him a combination of playing and umpiring skills and that combination is one that we believe will serve him well in the months and years to come.

"Steve has served an apprenticeship on the fringes of the Elite Panel and his elevation reflects not only his consistency during recent years but also his excellence over the past year in particular.

"I have no doubt that the elevation of these two quality umpires will strengthen the Elite Panel."

de Silva was understandably delighted in his promotion, adding: "It has required a lot of hard work leading to good decision-making on a consistent basis and I am glad my efforts have been recognised. I am now keen to ensure I maintain the high standards I have set myself."

"I am thrilled to be appointed to the Elite Panel," Davis said, "as it has to be the aim of every umpire to be appointed to this select group. I have worked hard for this and now I look forward to concentrating on umpiring on a full-time basis. 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. I am really looking forward to the challenges ahead."