MICHAEL GOUGH, the former Durham opener and long-standing winner of the ECB umpire of the year award, has been promoted.

After standing in the middle for the recent World Cup, Gough has been rewarded for his efforts by being named on the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Umpires for 2019-20 following the annual review and selection process.

Gough, from Hartlepool, and Joel Wilson of the West Indies have been elevated from the Emirates ICC International Panel by the selection panel, which includes fellow former Durham batsman David Boon.

Gough has officiated in nine Tests, 59 ODIs and 14 T20Is and replaces the now retired Ian Gould.

Adrian Griffith, ICC Senior Manager – Umpires and Referees said: “Being an elite official is an extremely challenging job. Every decision is scrutinized by millions of fans and each match official is subject to a rigorous ongoing performance assessment throughout the year.

“We are fortunate to have some fantastic officials who are able to withstand the pressures of the job and deliver consistently on the international stage. Michael and Joel are deserving additions to the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Umpires and I wish them all the best for the coming season.”

In a Northern Echo interview last October, he admitted: “It’s a short life-span as a professional sportsman. As an umpire I’m still probably the youngest on the ECB and ICC panel and that’s with years under my belt.

“I’ve built up experience and I would love to be on the elite panel and step up from the emerging panel, but there’s no desperation there – I just want to go out there, do a good job and be recognised for that. Then it’s up to other people to decide.’’