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Ashes: New Zealand umpire Billy Bowden to officiate during the Ashes series

Billy Bowden: The crooked finger will be on show during the Ashes

Billy Bowden has been included on an expanded list of five umpires who will officiate during the Ashes series.

The New Zealander was dropped from the ICC's Elite Panel back in June but gets a recall with six of the umpires on that list coming from either England or Australia and therefore unable to fulfil neutrality requirements.

Bowden's recall to the Test ranks had been predicted and it has now been confirmed he will join Kumar Dharmasena, Aleem Dar, Marais Erasmus as on-field umpires during the five-match series.

He will take charge of the third Test in Perth along with Erasmus and spend the fourth Test in Melbourne in the TV umpire's booth.

Tony Hill will also be part of the team but Bowden's compatriot will be solely used as a television official, taking that role in three of the five Tests.

The standard of umpiring was a central theme of the summer series in England, with Hill making a series of errors that appear to have been costly in terms of his role.

He had five decisions overturned by the Decision Review System, more than any other umpire in the series, despite only standing in two Tests.

Bowden, who is renowned for his showmanship, had officiated 75 Tests before his demotion, which was also down to performance.

"We felt that we needed to spread the appointments across five umpires for the five Test series, rather than just the four that were used in the UK," the ICC's general manager of cricket Geoff Allardice said in a statement.

"Billy Bowden is the most experienced umpire on the international panel, and understands what is needed for the umpiring team to perform well in high profile Test matches.

"Appointing Tony Hill as TV umpire in three of the five matches is recognition that the role is becoming increasingly important in a DRS series.

"Having the same person in the chair more often should translate into more consistent decisions being made."

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