Billy Bowden in contention for Ashes umpire role

Sydney: New Zealand umpire Billy Bowden may reportedly officiate in the forthcoming winter Ashes series following the sidelining of his compatriot Tony Hill from on-ground officiating in the series due to his series of errors during the summer series in England.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, although the four umpires who stood in July and August appeared to be automatic choices for the five Tests in Australia given that they are the only members of the ICC`s elite panel who are neither Australian nor English, however, Hill may be demoted when the Ashes appointments are announced.

The report further said that the shunting of Hill to a probable third-umpire role would create a vacancy, bringing Bowden, who has a penchant for showmanship, in the frame to fill the void by being called up from the second-tier international panel.

According to the report, Bowden had stood in 75 Tests until June when he was dropped from the elite group only five months ago because of his own performance.

The other umpires from the series in England - South Africa`s Marais Erasmus, Kumar Dharmasena of Sri Lanka and Pakistan`s Aleem Dar - will all be in the contingent to officiate from the first Test at the Gabba starting on November 21, the report added.