ICC, on Monday, decided to remove Aleem Dar, a member of the governing body’s elite panel of umpires, from officiating in the forthcoming matches of the India – South Africa bilateral series. Dar was expected to stand in for the forthcoming games to be held in Chennai, and Mumbai. On the other hand, veteran Pakistani cricketers turned commentators Wasim Akram, and Shoaib Akhtar, relinquished their commentary duties following Dar’s exit from the series.
The ICC decided to remove Aleem Dar from the series, after, approximately 200 Shiv Sena members barged into the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai, to disrupt the on going meeting between BCCI president Shashank Manohar, and PCB cheif Shahryar Khan. The two top officials were set to discuss the possibilities of resuming cricketing ties between India and Pakistan. The two sides have not played a bilateral test series against each other since 2007.
The ICC, in a press release post Dar’s exit, said that, “Under the present circumstances, it will be unreasonable to expect from Aleem that he will be able to perform his duties to the best of his abilities. As such, he has been withdrawn and his replacement will be announced in due course.”
Akram, and Akhtar, who were up until now commentating during the on going series, according to sources, voluntarily decided to withdraw given serious security concerns, and were under no pressure to do so, from any official governing body.
Early yesterday, approximately 200 Shiv Sainiks disrupted a meeting between Manohar and Khan, saying that they are clear on their stand against Pakistan.
Pandurang Sakpal, Shiv Sena zonal head south Mumbai wing further added that, “Sena will not allow cricket matches with Pakistan in Mumbai.”
Anurag Thakur, BCCI secretary, commenting on Dar’s exit , said that, the elite Umpire’s presence will not be affected by threats from any group.
He went on to add that, “There was a possibility of a protest in Saurashtra as well. 50,000 people were supposed to turn up in Rajkot. So I am not going into any threat perception. The fact is that India will also host the T20 World Cup in 2016 and it is the responsibility of every Indian to keep our image of sportmanship alive.”