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Benson returns to county game

ECB Association of Cricket Officials

Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Dwayne Bravo, Brad Haddin & Mark Benson

Mark Benson withdrew from umpiring the second Test match between Australia and West Indies in Adelaide on December 4

The ECB today confirmed that Mark Benson has been offered a first-class umpire contract for the 2010 domestic season.

The former Kent and England batsman, who announced his retirement from the Emirates elite panel of international umpires last week, will return to the county game after a four-year spell at international level.

Since becoming a member of the ECB first-class full list in 2000, he has taken charge of 111 first-class matches and officiated at domestic level for two months during the 2009 county season.

ECB chief executive David Collier said: “We are delighted to welcome Mark back onto the full list of umpires with immediate effect.

“Mark is a very talented umpire who is widely respected throughout the game and everyone within county cricket will look forward to working with him again over the coming season.”

ECB umpires manager Chris Kelly added: “I am sure Mark will be warmly welcomed back into the county game by his fellow umpires and players.

“Our county game will be the richer for having an umpire of his calibre and experience in the middle and we wish him well for 2010.”

Following Benson’s appointment, the ECB full list of umpires for the forthcoming season is now as confirmed as the following 24 officials:

Rob Bailey, Neil Bainton, Mark Benson, Martin Bodenham, Nick Cook, Nigel Cowley, Barry Dudleston, Jeff Evans, Steve Garratt, Michael Gough, Ian Gould, Peter Hartley, Vanburn Holder, Richard Illingworth, Trevor Jesty, Richard Kettleborough, Nigel Llong, Jeremy Lloyds, Neil Mallender, David Millns, Tim Robinson, George Sharp, John Steele, Peter Willey.