Johannesburg, June 26 (ANI): Umpires Asad Rauf and Billy Bowden have reportedly been dropped from the panel of elite umpires of the International Cricket Council (ICC), according to an announcement by the global cricket governing body.
Pakistani official Rauf, on the elite list since 2006, was stood down from the recent ICC Champions Trophy tournament following reports that he was being investigated in connection to the match-fixing scandal that engulfed this year's Indian Premier League, although he has denied the claims, Sport24 reports.
The report further said that Bowden's demotion came after 11 years and 75 Tests as a leading official, adding that both the umpires were replaced on the 12-man elite list by two former Test bowlers, England's Richard Illingworth and Australia's Paul Reiffel.
Insisting that the spot-fixing controversy had no bearing on Rauf's axing from the panel, ICC umpires selection panel chairman Geoff Allardice said that although he is happy with the promotion of Illingworth and Reiffel to the elite list, it is also important to acknowledge and appreciate the vast contributions of Rauf and Bowden over a long period of time
However, Allardice further said that 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. (ANI)