The ICC has dropped Asad Rauf (Pakistan) and Billy Bowden (New Zealand) from its elite panel of umpires. Australia’s Paul Reifel and England’s Richard Illingworth have replaced the duo in the twelve-member panel for 2013-2014.
Rauf had been withdrawn from the Champions Trophy following media reports that he was being investigated by the Mumbai Police for his links with bookies, who were involved in spot-fixing games during the IPL.
"In the wake of reports that the Mumbai Police are conducting an investigation into Asad Rauf's activities, we feel that it is in Asad's best interests as well as those of the sport and the event itself, that he is withdrawn from participating in the ICC Champions Trophy," International Cricket Council Chief Executive David Richardson had said in a statement.
The Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires was selected by the ICC Umpires Selection Panel consisting of Chairman, Geoff Allardice, ICC’s General Manager – Cricket, ICC Chief Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle, ex-England player and coach and umpire, David Lloyd, and Srinivas Venkataraghavan, the former India captain and international umpire.
Chairman of the ICC Umpires Selection Panel, Mr Allardice, said: “It is exciting to see Richard and Paul promoted to the elite panel, but it is also important to acknowledge and appreciate the outstanding contributions of Asad and Billy over a long period of time.
“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. In Asad’s case, it is important to emphasize that the recent speculation linking his name to the IPL spot-fixing investigation was not considered during the selectors’ deliberations.”
While Rauf officiated in 48 Tests, 98 ODIs and 23 T20 internationals, Bowden officiated in 75 Tests, 181 ODIs and 19 T20 internationals.
Former Australian medium-pacer Paul Reiffel took up umpiring in 2009, and has officiated in 4 Tests, 30 ODIs and 9 T20 internationals. Illingworth, the former English left-arm spinner, has been an umpire in 4 Tests, 16 ODIs and 7 T20 internationals.
ICC's Elite Panel of Umpires: Aleem Dar, Kumar Dharmasena, Steve Davis, Marais Erasmus, Ian Gould, Tony Hill, Richard Kettleborough, Nigel Llong, Bruce Oxenford, Rod Tucker, Richard Illingworth and Paul Reiffel