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Last Updated: Friday, 7 April 2006, 09:00 GMT 10:00 UK
Benson joins elite umpiring panel
Mark Benson
Benson officiated at the Under-19 World Cup in 2004
English official Mark Benson has been appointed to the ICC's Elite Panel of Test and one-day Umpires.

The former Kent opening batsman became a first-class umpire in 2000 and made his Test umpiring debut in 2004.

"It's a great honour to be named as one of the Elite Panel. It is important to do the job as well as you can to earn the respect of the players," he said.

There has not been an English official on the elite list since David Shepherd retired last year.

But ICC general manager David Richardson said: "Mark's been one of the top performing umpires in the last 18 months in international cricket.

"He's officiated in eight Test matches in four different countries and also performed well in the VB Series."

He added: "We have been impressed by his calm approach and the respect he has earned from the players."

BIlly Doctrove from the West Indies and Pakistan's Asad Rauf have also been added to the list of elite umpires, which has been expanded from seven to 10.

"Umpiring international cricket matches is one of the toughest jobs in world sport and we felt a seven-man panel was probably a little light.

"We were determined, however, not to expand the panel for the sake of it.

"So over the last year we have given extra appointments to umpires from the second-tier International Panel who had a good track record in home one-day matches.

"It is as a result of this process that Mark, Billy and Asad find themselves on the Elite Panel," explained ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed.

England's Jeremy Lloyds has stepped down from the International Panel of umpires for family reasons and is set to be replaced by former wicket-keeper Ian Gould.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has nominated Peter Hartley to become a TV umpire at international level.




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