Paul Reiffel, the former Test bowler, has been elevated to the national panel of umpires as part of Cricket Australia's restructuring for the 2005-06 season. After spending three summers on the project panel, Reiffel, who took 104 wickets in 35 Tests, joined Rodney Tucker, the former New South Wales and Tasmania allrounder, as new faces in the 12-man group.

Jeff Brookes and John Ward were also promoted to the squad that will officiate in Pura Cup, ING Cup and tour matches, while Ken McGinnis returned to contract status after being on the state panel in 2003-04. Australia's representatives on the ICC's elite panel are Darrell Hair, Daryl Harper and Simon Taufel.

James Sutherland, the Cricket Australia chief executive, said the umpire's role in upholding the laws and spirit of the game were paramount for the sport's success. "While not always sharing the same spotlight the players enjoy, umpires are often the unsung heroes," he said.

Cricket Australia National Panel
Jeff Brookes, Steve Davis, Simon Fry, Ian Lock, Geoff Morrow, Dave Orchard, Bruce Oxenford, Peter Parker, Bob Parry, Paul Reiffel, Rodney Tucker, John Ward.