New Zealand Cricket today announced the Elite Panel, A Panel and Emerging Panel for the 2011-12 season.
Elite Panel: Gary Baxter, Chris Gaffaney, Phil Jones, Wayne Knights, Derek Walker, Barry Frost, Evan Watkin, Tim Parlane
A Panel: Phil Agent, Hiran Perera, Evan Gray, Mike George, Chris Brown, Ash Mehrotra, Mark Elliott, David Reid, David Paterson, Peter Spall ,Peter Gasston, Tony Gillies
Emerging Panel: Paul Anderson, Glen Walklin, Shaun Ryan, David Tidmarsh, Kathy Cross, Raoul Allen, John Bromley, Garth Stirrat, Johann Fourie, Aaron Hardie
One new face has been added to the Elite Panel with Wayne Knights elevated from the A Panel in a straight swap with Evan Gray.
Two other additions to the A Panel are Tony Gillies who was promoted from the Emerging Panel, along with former First Class player Chris Brown, who has taken up umpiring in the last two years on his own initiative.
With the A Panel expanded from 10 to 12 a space was freed up with David Tidmarsh from Northern Districts handed the opportunity to join the Emerging Panel following strong performances in his region.
New Zealand Cricket National Umpire Manager Rodger McHarg said: “Wayne Knights deserves his promotion to the Elite Panel after consistent development & performances in the A Panel recently and I’m confident he will continue to develop and progress.
“Having Chris Brown join the A Panel is a reflection of NZC's commitment to provide opportunities for past players. We are keen to encourage more former players to take up umpiring as an extension of their immediate post cricket careers and whilst there are no guarantees it is a huge opportunity to stay involved and contribute to the game.
“I’m pleased to confirm that Gary Baxter and Chris Gaffaney will continue as the NZC nominations to the ICC International Panel and that Barry Frost retains his designated third umpire TV position. With Zimbabwe and South Africa touring this summer there will be opportunities at home for their involvement in the six ODI’s and five Twenty20’s international matches.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Kathy Cross on her umpiring appointment at November’s ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup qualifying tournament in Bangladesh.”
Over 300 matches are covered by the NZC umpires with the Elite Panel primarily covering Plunket Shield, Men’s One-Day and HRV Cup competitions while umpires from the A Panel are given the opportunity to step up to those competitions when the umpires from the Elite Panel are officiating in international matches.
Umpires from the A Panel and Emerging Panel cover all other national competitions including women’s domestic cricket, domestic tournaments, development tournaments and Hawke Cup.