'Axed' Bowden may end Test umpiring exile with comeback in Ashes series Down Under

Wellington, Aug 6 (ANI): New Zealand umpire Billy Bowden may be making a comeback in the back-to-back Ashes Tests in Australia starting in November this year, following his axing from the International Cricket Council's elite panel in June.

According to Stuff.co.nz, the standard of umpiring in the current series in England has come under massive scrutiny, particularly the use of the decision review system (DRS), and has been compounded by the fact that just four umpires from the 12-strong elite panel, including New Zealand's Tony Hill, are neutral

With the ICC reportedly seeking reinforcements with seven more Ashes tests looming between now and January, Bowden, who is currently umpiring the inaugural Caribbean Premier League in the West Indies, may end his Test umpiring exile if he comes back for the five Ashes tests in Australia.

Last month, England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive David Collier had also said that the ICC had mentioned using an international second-tier panel umpire like Bowden to ease the workload on the four neutral umpires to raise the standards.

Meanwhile, the report said that Hill and Pakistan's Aleem Dar are slated to stand in the fourth test in Durham, starting on Friday, before Hill returns to the third umpire's chair for the fifth test at The Oval starting on August 21.

Dar and Sri Lanka's Kumar Dharmasena will be the on-field umpires, while South Africa's Marais Erasmus is the other neutral on the elite panel, the report added. (ANI)

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