Sri Lanka's Kumar Dharamasena and England's Richard Kettleborough have been included in the International Cricket Council's elite panel of umpires.
The announcement was made in an ICC statement released on Wednesday and the two replace Daryl Harper, whose contract expires in July and Ashoka de Silva. ICC's General Manager - Cricket and convener of selection panel, Dave Richardson said that the decision was made after acknowledging the contribution of both the umpires. " I hope the appointments would serve as an inspiration for other umpires," he said.
40-year-old Dharamasena, a former spinner expressed his deep gratitude after being informed of his inclusion in the panel. "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."
Kettleborough too was escatatic and the 38-year-old Yorkshireman said he looked forward to the challenges ahead.