Bowden back on elite list

  • Last Updated: May 1 2014, 8:27 BST

New Zealand's Billy Bowden has been restored to the International Cricket Council's elite panel of umpires just a year after being dropped from the list.

Billy Bowden: Not out anymore
Billy Bowden: Not out anymore

Bowden had been stood down after 10 years because of performance issues, but the chairman of the ICC umpires selection panel, Geoff Allardice, has commended the 51-year-old's "hard work and perseverance" in reasserting himself among the world's leading officials.

The new list takes effect from July 1, with Bowden taking the place of his countryman Tony Hill, who has stepped down to coach New Zealand umpires.

Allardice said in an ICC statement: "Billy's return to the elite panel is a result of his hard work and perseverance. His skills and experience will further strengthen the ICC umpiring team."

Bowden, who is perhaps best known for his crooked finger signal of a batsman's dismissal, has umpired in 76 Test matches, 189 one-day internationals and 21 T20 internationals.

He joins a list of elite umpires that also includes Aleem Dar, Kumar Dharmasena, Steve Davis, Marais Erasmus, Ian Gould, Richard Illingworth, Richard Kettleborough, Nigel Llong, Bruce Oxenford, Paul Reiffel and Rod Tucker.

Bowden is approaching the 20th anniversary of his first international match, having made his debut when running the rule over New Zealand versus Sri Lanka in March 1995.

Although he lost his place on the elite list last year, Bowden officiated alongside South African Erasmus during the third Ashes Test during the winter.