All of the existing Emirates Elite Panel members were retained while Mark Benson from England, Billy Doctrove from Dominica and Asad Rauf from Pakistan joined the top tier of international cricket officialdom following the annual review of umpire performance at the end of March, an ICC release said here today.
The composition of the panel was determined by ICC chief executive Malcom Speed and ICC Cricket Committee chairman Sunil Gavaskar after taking into consideration the correct decision percentages of umpires and the reports from captains and match referees.
New Panel member Asad Rauf, who has played five Tests and 18 ODIs for Pakistan, expressed his happiness on the decision.
''It's the biggest news of my long cricket career as a player and umpire. It's a dream come true but I believe the biggest thing is not getting onto the panel but staying there and that will be my focus,'' said Rauf, who also officiated in the recent India-Pakistan series.
Replacements for the three vacancies on the second-tier Emirates International Panel will be announced in due course. The composition of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Referees is also under discussion and will be confirmed soon.
Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires 2006-07: Mark Benson (Eng), Billy Bowden (NZ), Steve Bucknor (WI), Aleem Dar (Pak), Billy Doctrove (WI), Darrell Hair (Aus), Daryl Harper (Aus), Rudi Koertzen (SA), Asad Rauf (Pak), Simon Taufel (NZ).