Mark Benson has announced his intention to step down from the ICC's Elite Panel of Umpires, returning home to take up a contract with the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
Benson umpired 27 Tests, 72 One-Day Internationals and 19 Twenty20 Internationals since being appointed to the elite panel in 2006 but he has cited health issues and has been released from his contract with the ICC three months before it was due to expire.
“I have enjoyed my time on the elite panel immensely,” Benson said in a statement.
“The opportunity to be part of the global game has given me memories that I will always treasure. But travel and being away from home takes its toll on the family and some warning bells have started to ring regarding my health.
“So, having thought about it carefully, I feel now is the right time for me to step down and move to a more settled and familiar environment in England.
“I’d like to thank the ICC and my umpiring colleagues on the elite panel for their support over the years. Umpiring at the top level has been a very rewarding experience for me and it is not an easy decision to walk away from it but I believe it is the right one as far as my health and family are concerned.
“I also want to thank the ECB for giving me the opportunity to be part of the county circuit again. I’m looking forward to the new season as much as I did when I played, and hope that I can add value with my international experience as an ICC elite umpire.”
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