LONDON (AFP) – Experienced officials Asad Rauf and Billy Bowden have both been dropped from the International Cricket Council's panel of elite umpires, the global governing body announced Tuesday.
Pakistani official Rauf, on the elite list since 2006, was stood down from the recent Champions Trophy tournament in the United Kingdom following reports he was being investigated by Mumbai Police in connection to the match-fixing scandal that engulfed this year's Indian Premier League.
Rauf refuted claims he'd been been involved in match-fixing and ICC umpires selection panel chairman Geoff Allardice insisted the controversy had no bearing on his axing from the elite list.
Rauf and Bowden, best known for his distinctive 'crooked finger' way of giving batsmen out, were replaced on the 12-man elite list by two former Test bowlers in England's Richard Illingworth and Australia's Paul Reiffel.
"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," Allardice said in an ICC statement.
"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.
"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."
Bowden's demotion came after 11 years, and 75 Tests, as a leading official.