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Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar withdrawn from India vs England Test series

India Today logo India Today 31-10-2016
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International Cricket Council (ICC) has withdrawn Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar from the upcoming Test series between India and England due to security threats, accoring to reports. India will host England in a five-Test series with the first match starting November 9.

Dar, who is in ICC's Elite Panel of Umpires, is likely to be replaced by Sri Lanka's Kumara Dharmasena.

This is not the first time that Dar has been removed from officiating duties in India. ICC had withdrawn the Pakistani umpire last year as well during the India-South Africa ODI series following Shiv Sena threats.

Cross border tensions are on the rise following the Uri attacks carried out by Pakistani-backed terrorists on September 18 in which 19 Indian soldiers were martyred. Several quarters have demanded complete ban on Pakistani artistes in India. BCCI has also refused to play Pakistan.

India cricketer Gautam Gambhir has also said national interest should be kept ahead of commercial interests.

"There should be no cricket and Bollywood ties with Pakistan till Pakistan stops cross-border terrorism," Gambhir told India Today.


India have for long refused to resume bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan. The last time Pakistan visited India for a one-on-one series was back in 2012-13. Since then, the arch-rivals have met in only multi-team tournaments - Champions Trophy (2013), World Cup (2015), Asia Cup (2016) and World T20 (2016).

According to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the traditional rivals, India and Pakistan are scheduled to play at least six series between 2015 and 2023.

The first of which was called off last year due to political tensions between the two nations.

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Teams have refused to tour Pakistan since militant attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in March 2009. However, Zimbabwe became the first team to make a short visit to the war-torn nation last year for a limited-overs series after the World Cup Down Under. Even though the matches were held under tight security and PCB hosted the series successfully, other teams continue to remain apprehensive about touring Pakistan.

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