Billy Bowden dropped from NZ international panel

Billy Bowden
Umpire Billy Bowden inspects the pitch. (Photo by Kerry Marshall/Getty Images)

Veteran New Zealand umpire Billy Bowden has been relegated into the NZC national umpires Panel, sparking reports suggesting that the charismatic umpire may have stood in his final international match. Bowden’s demotion means that he now finds himself in the company of Tony Giles, Phil Jones, and Tim Parlane. Chris Brown, Phil Jones, and Shaun Haig are the only ones from the national panel moved into the international panel.

Having debuted all those years ago in 1995 during the Sri Lanka series at Hamilton, Bowden’s last appearance was during the Chappell-Hadlee series in Wellington in February earlier in the year. Although his Test debut came only five years later in 1999, Bowden has become a fan favorite for his on-field antics.


Having stood in 84 Test matches and exactly 200 ODIs, Bowden was dropped from the NZC International panel in 2013. However, the retirement of Tony Hill in the same year saw him being reinstated. That was to last only an additional year as he was left out in May 2015 after officiating his 84th Test between England and West Indies in Barbados. However, him being on New Zealand’s international panel meant he could still officiate international matches.

“It’s a massive opportunity for the guys and they deserve it based on their umpiring performances over recent seasons,” Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri, the NZC’s new match officials manager, said on Thursday (June 16). “We’re delighted to see more former players coming through the umpiring system and hope it continues to be seen as an attractive pathway.”

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NZC international panel: Chris Brown, Wayne Knights, Shaun Haig.

NZC national panel: Billy Bowden, Chris Brown, Tony Gillies, Shaun Haig, Phil Jones, Wayne Knights, Ash Mehrotra, Tim Parlane, Derek Walker.