ICC says umpires to stay, India’s tour to Australia in jeopardy

January 7th, 2008 - 5:32 pm ICT by admin  

Sydney, Jan. 7 (ANI): The International Cricket Council (ICC) has said that Test umpires Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson will continue to stand in the third and fourth Australia-India Tests to be played at Perth and Adelaide later this month, which could convince the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to call off its tour of the country in wake of the umpiring controversies in the just concluded Sydney cricket Test.

The ICC said that it is yet to receive a formal complaint from the BCCI on the umpiring issue, while the BCCI has said that it is convening an emergency meeting of its working committee in New Delhi on Tuesday evening to deliberate on the matter and the next course of action. The BCCI has called for an immediate ban on the umpires and demanded that the three Test ban on Harbhajan should be revoked.

Sachin Tendulkar has sent a SMS to BCCI president Sharad Pawar, saying he was an eyewitness to the incident involving Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds and was present in the hearing in which the ban on Harbhajan was imposed. He said the ban was unjustified.

The tour of Australia has been suspended till the ban on Harbhajan is lifted, the BCCI said in a statement today. “The Board will appeal to the International Cricket Council to review the decision of the Match Referee and suspend its operation till the appeal is disposed of,” the BCCI said in a statement released on Monday.

BCCI Vice-President Rajiv Shukla said that Harbhajan had complete support of his teammates as well as the BCCI. He further confirmed that the board has demanded the removal of Bucknor and Benson from all future matches involving India.

The boards chief administrative officer,Professor Ratnakar Shetty, has said that all rules and provisions would be kept in mind before deciding the future course of the tour and no decision would be taken on public emotions and reactions.

He also made it clear that first Harbhajan Singh would have to file a complaint and subsequently, the board would follow suit.

Even umpires officiating in the match had testified that no such comments were passed by the Indian offie. Earlier, Team India had leveled serious allegations against off spinner Brad Hogg. Team India reportedly complained of Hogg as he used abusive words against some of the Indian players. While ICCs hearing to settle Harbhajan- Symonds row was underway ICC role has come under scanner from cricket fans across the globe.

Mike Proctor will hear fresh charges against Hogg on January 7. (ANI)

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