|Player:||EAR de Silva, SJ Davis|
ICC General Manager - Cricket David Richardson hopes the elevation of the pair will be an inspiration to umpires serving on the Emirates International Panel
The ICC today announced that Asoka de Silva of Sri Lanka and Steve Davis of Australia had been promoted to the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires, with the pool of top officials expanding from 10 to 12.
The two umpires, who have been serving on the Emirates International Panel of ICC Umpires, have been elevated to the Elite Panel by the ICC Umpires Selection Panel made up of David Richardson, ICCs General Manager Cricket, Emirates Elite Panel ICC Chief Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle, ex-England player, coach and former first-class umpire David Lloyd and Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan, the former India captain and international umpire.
De Silva has stood in 33 Tests and 76 ODIs after making his debut in 1999 and has served previously on the Elite Panel between 2002 and 2004. The 52-year-old also played 10 Tests and 28 ODIs for Sri Lanka between 1985 and 1992.
Davis, 56, has stood in 11 Tests, 71 ODIs and three T20 Internationals having made his top level debut in 1992. He has been a member of the International Panel since 2003.
Mr Richardson said: We are delighted to confirm the elevation of both Steve and Asoka to the expanded Emirates Elite panel of ICC Umpires.
Their promotions are a result of perseverance, hard work and commitment and I am sure these two umpires will serve as an inspiration to the other Emirates International Panel umpires who are striving hard to break into the Elite Panel. For Asoka, it will be his second time in the Elite Panel and he has returned after performing outstandingly on the International Panel over the past 12 months.
Asoka brings with him a combination of playing and umpiring skills and that combination is one that we believe will serve him well in the months and years to come.
Steve has served an apprenticeship on the fringes of the Elite Panel and his elevation reflects not only his consistency during recent years but also his excellence over the past year in particular.
I have no doubt that the elevation of these two quality umpires will strengthen the Emirates Elite Panel, added Mr Richardson.
Asoka de Silva said: I am delighted to be back on the Elite Panel. Getting back there has not been easy. It has required a lot of hard work leading to good decision-making on a consistent basis and I am glad my efforts have been recognised. I am now keen to ensure I maintain the high standards I have set myself.
Steve Davis said: I am thrilled to be appointed to the Elite Panel as it has to be the aim of every umpire to be appointed to this select group.
I have worked hard for this and now I look forward to concentrating on umpiring on a full-time basis. I have always enjoyed the company of those umpires already on the Elite Panel and now I have the chance to work with them all on a more regular basis. I am really looking forward to the challenges ahead.
The expansion of the Elite Panel of ICC Umpires is one example of the enhanced management of officials being rolled out by the ICC.
The additions to the Elite Panel will allow the top umpires to get more rest away from international action while, at the same time, allowing them time to work on their skills and mentor umpires at domestic level.
Top level umpires will also be assisted by five regional umpire managers who will work with those umpires to ensure peak performance. The remuneration of officials at the highest level has also been improved to reflect their value to the game.
These developments followed recommendations made by an ICC Umpiring Task Force made up of Chairman David Morgan, the ICC President-Elect, ICC Chief Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle, Cricket Australia Cricket Manager Geoff Allardice and Mr Richardson.
And commenting on the implementation of the recommendations, Mr Richardson said: These improvements reflect the ICCs commitment to officialdom at the highest level and are part of our desire, at every level, to ensure our strong sport gets even stronger.
Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires (as of 23 April 2008)
Umpire Tests ODIs T20Is on Elite Panel since
Aleem Dar ( Pakistan ) 46 108 -- 2004 Asad Rauf ( Pakistan ) 19 51 8 2006
Asoka de Silva ( Sri Lanka ) 33 76 -- 2002-2004; 2008
Billy Bowden ( New Zealand ) 46 124 5 2004
Billy Doctrove (West Indies) 17 73 6 2006
Darrell Hair ( Australia ) 76 135 -- 2002
Darrell Harper ( Australia ) 71 150 6 2002
Mark Benson ( England ) 21 61 8 2006
Rudi Koertzen ( South Africa 90 190 2 2002
Simon Taufel ( Australia ) 51 124 11 2004
Steve Bucknor (West Indies) 122 172 -- 2002
Steve Davis ( Australia ) 11 71 3 2008
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