India's Sundaram Ravi for the remaining two One-Day Internationals (ODI) of the ongoing India vs South Africa © Getty Images
India’s S Ravi will act as umpire for the remaining two ODIs © Getty Images

Dubai: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday decided to replace Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar with five-match series. “Due to the close proximity of fixtures Sundaram Ravi, a member of the Elite Panel of ICC umpires, had previously been selected for the Pakistan vs England series, but he will now stand in the fourth ODI between India and South Africa in Chennai on Thursday,” an ICC statement said. “Because of exceptional circumstances, both the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Cricket South Africa (CSA) have agreed that two Indian umpires will stand in this game.”

The development comes a day after ICC was forced to withdraw Dar, who officiated in the first three ODIs and was also scheduled to umpire the next two in Chennai and Mumbai on October 22 and 25. Dar’s withdrawal came after around 70 Shiv Sena activists stormed the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai on Monday. They protested in front of BCCI president Shashank Manohar, asking him not to resume cricketing ties between India and Pakistan. Manohar was supposed to meet Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan to discuss a proposed India-Pakistan series in December. The Sena activists shouted anti-Pakistan slogans and demanded the cancellation of the series.

As a result, there are changes to the Pakistan-England series. Bruce Oxenford and Paul Reiffel will now be the on-field umpires for the second Test, which starts in Dubai on Thursday while Chris Gaffaney has been named as the TV umpire. Oxenford and Gaffaney will stand in the third Test in Sharjah with Reiffel as TV umpire.