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Illingworth joins elite panel

Former England spinner Richard Illingworth has been promoted to the elite panel of umpires.

Illingworth, who played nine Tests and 25 one-day internationals from 1991 to 1996 including the 1992 World Cup final versus Pakistan, joins the 12-strong panel for the 2013-14 season alongside former Australia seamer Paul Reiffel.

They replace Pakistan's Asad Rauf and New Zealand's Billy Bowden, following the annual International Cricket Council review. The ICC explained Rauf’s demotion is not related him being under investigation by Mumbai Police, which saw him withdrawn from the Champions Trophy.

Geoff Allardice, the chairman of the ICC's umpire selection panel, said: "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,"

"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.”

Elite panel of umpires: Aleem Dar, Kumar Dharmasena, Steve Davis, Marais Erasmus, Ian Gould, Tony Hill, Richard Kettleborough, Nigel Llong, Bruce Oxenford, Rod Tucker, Richard Illingworth and Paul Reiffel.

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