Bowden dropped from NZ umpire panel
Veteran umpire demoted to national panel as NZC name three new international umpires
16 June 2016, 05:50 PM AEST
Flamboyant umpire Billy Bowden might have stood in his last international match after being dropped from New Zealand Cricket's international panel.
The 53-year-old New Zealander, who officiated in 84 Tests and 200 one-day internationals over 21 years, amused fans with his eccentric signals, especially the crooked finger with which he indicated dismissals. Bowden insisted he couldn't extend the finger because of arthritis.
He was dropped from the International Cricket Council's elite panel in 2013, returned in 2014, but was omitted again after umpiring the Test between the West Indies and England in May, 2015 in Barbados.
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Bowden, who stood in his his 200th ODI in February when New Zealand played Australia in Wellington, umpired his first international 21 years ago – a one-day international between New Zealand and Sri Lanka in Hamilton – before officiating his first Test five years later in Auckland.
He has been demoted to NZC's national panel along with Derek Walker and Phil Jones, while former first-class players Shaun Haig and Chris Brown have been promoted to the international panel alongside Wayne Knights.
"It’s a massive opportunity for the guys and they deserve it based on their umpiring performances over recent seasons," NZC Match Officials Manager Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri.
"We’re delighted to see more former players coming through the umpiring system and hope it continues to be seen as an attractive pathway."
New Zealand’s leading umpire Chris Gaffney has been retained by the ICC Elite Umpires Panel for a second year.
NZC International Panel: Chris Brown, Wayne Knights, Shaun Haig
NZC National Umpires Panel: Brent Bowden, Chris Brown, Tony Gillies, Shaun Haig, Phil Jones, Wayne Knights, Ash Mehrotra, Tim Parlane, Derek Walker.