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Umpires appointed for 2006

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David Shepherd

David Shepherd is one of four umpires who have retired © Getty Images

The ECB have announced that umpires Rob Bailey, Richard Illingworth, Richard Kettleborough and Neil Bainton have all been appointed to the full list of First Class Umpires.

They replace David Shepherd, Mervyn Kitchen, Alan Whitehead and John Hampshire who retired at the end of the 2005 season.

Alan Fordham, ECB Cricket Operations Manager (First Class) said: “We are delighted to welcome these four umpires to our full list.

"They have all performed outstandingly well during the past few years on the ECB reserve list and thoroughly deserve promotion. Our congratulations go to them all.”

The ECB is currently in the process of appointing umpires to the reserve list for the 2006 season.

ECB has 25 full-time umpires on its full list and operates with six to eight umpires on the reserve list.