London: In a rare feat, ICC Elite Panel umpires Billy Bowden and Tony Hill of New Zealand will create history on Thursday by becoming the first neutral umpires from the same country to officiate together in a Test match.
Bowden and Hill will be in charge of the fourth and final Test between England and Pakistan at the Lord's Cricket Ground.
"To umpire with my fellow New Zealander Tony Hill for the first-time ever in a Test match will be special," Bowden, who will be standing in his 62nd Test, said in an ICC statement.
"To be at Lord's and to create a little piece of history by being the first two neutral umpires from the same country to umpire there makes it super special. Yes, it will be a proud moment for us, our families, New Zealand Cricket and to all our fellow umpires in New Zealand," he said.
Hill, who like Bowden hails from Auckland, said, "To say I am looking forward to the Lord's Test is an understatement.
"Although I have already stood there for a couple of shorter version games, to get to stand in a Test there is brilliant. To have a Kiwi at the other end is a bonus and the full impact of the occasion probably won't sink in for a while yet."
The final Test of the four-match series between England and Pakistan will be Hill's 20th Test match.