Dave Orchard is among six umpires named by Cricket Australia in their national panel for the 2004-05 season. The 55-year-old Orchard represented South Africa in the ICC's elite panel and has officiated in 44 Tests - including two matches in the recently concluded series between Sri Lanka and Australia - and 107 one-day internationals. However, he has been an Australian resident for the past seven years and is expected to be granted Australian citizenship soon. His contract with the ICC ended earlier this year.

The appointment makes Orchard eligible to officiate in Pura Cup, ING Cup, and national second XI competitions, and also in some international fixtures like Australia A games and tour matches.

A left-handed batsman and a right-arm medium-fast bowler, Orchard scored 1634 runs and took 47 wickets in a first-class career which lasted 11 years, before he took to umpiring. Over the years, he gained a reputation for being among the less conservative umpires, often giving batsmen out lbw when they stretched forward to spinners without offering a stroke.

Orchard's exit means that Rudi Koertzen is the only South African currently in the elite panel. Meanwhile, Australia have three of them - Darrell Hair, Daryl Harper and Simon Taufel - while three more, Steve Davis, Peter Parker and Bob Parry, are in the international panel. The international panel umpires are allowed to officiate in one-day internationals, and can also, if required, provide back-up to the elite panel by officiating in Tests during the peak season.