Asad Rauf, Billy Bowden dropped from ICC Elite Panel of umpires

Asad Rauf (right) was accused of allegedly accepting gifts from bookies during the Indian Premier League 2013 © Getty Images

London: Jun 25, 2013

Pakistan’s Asad Rauf, who is being investigated in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2013 spot-fixing scandal, and long-serving New Zealander Billy Bowden were dropped from the ICC Elite Panel of umpires after an annual review of their performance on Tuesday.

Rauf, who is being probed for allegedly taking expensive gifts from suspected bookies, and Bowden have been replaced by former Test cricketers Richard Illingworth and Paul Reiffel.

“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,” said Geoff Allardice, chairman of the ICC Umpires Selection Panel.

“In Asad’s case, it is important to emphasise that the recent speculation linking his name to the IPL spot-fixing investigation was not considered during the selectors’ deliberations.”

Rauf, who has denied any wrongdoing, was earlier withdrawn from officiating in the just-concluded ICC Champions Trophy in England.

“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,” added Allardice.

Illingworth and Reiffel have joined Aleem Dar, Steve Davis, Kumar Dharmasena, Marais Erasmus, Ian Gould, Tony Hill, Richard Kettleborough, Nigel Llong, Bruce Oxenford and Rod Tucker in the panel for the 2013-2014 season, commencing July 1, 2013.

Illingworth has been umpiring in international cricket since July 2010 and has so far stood in four Tests, 16 One-Day Internationals (ODI) and seven Twenty20 Internationals.

Reiffel, who made his international umpiring debut in January 2009, has officiated in four Tests, 30 ODIs and nine Twenty20 Internationals.