Dubai: Sri Lanka`s Kumar Dharmasena and Richard Kettleborough of England were promoted to the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires for the year 2011-2012 following an annual review.
According to a media release issued by ICC, the two match officials, who have been serving on the International Panel of ICC Umpires, will replace Australian Daryl Harper, whose existing contract expires in July, and controversial Asoka de Silva of Sri Lanka.
"Their promotions are a result of hard work and impressive performances and will act as an inspiration to other umpires," David Richardson, ICC`s General Manager - Cricket and Convener of selection panel, was quoted as saying by the release.
Dharmasena, 40, made his international umpiring debut in 2009 and has since officiated in two Tests, 25 ODIs and three T20Is.
As a cricketer, he played 31 Tests and 141 ODIs for Sri Lanka from 1993 to 2004 and scalped 69 and 138 wickets, respectively.
The Colombo-born former off-spinner is also a member of Sri Lanka`s World Cup-winning side in 1996.
"I am honoured and delighted to have been selected. To umpire alongside the most respected names in this noble profession and be included on the elite panel is something I wanted to achieve ever since I started umpiring.”
"My next target is to continue to work hard, make good decisions and justify my inclusion," Dharmasena said after his selection in the elite panel of umpires.