Mark Benson to step down following back surgery

LONDON (AP) The English Cricket Board says Wednesday that umpire Mark Benson is to retire after surgery on his back.

Benson, who played one test match and one ODI for England in 1986, became a first class umpire in 1997, and later officiated his first international match in 2004.

The 57-year-old Benson umpired the World T20 final in 2007 and been a member of the Elite Panel of ICC Umpires.

ECB Chief Operating Officer Gordon Hollins, said: ''Mark will be sadly missed by everyone involved in the game.

''He has made a huge contribution to the sport as both a player and an umpire and has been involved in some crucial matches during his tenure,'' Hollins added.

Billy Taylor will replace Benson on the ECB's full umpire list.