International Cricket Council have decided to withdraw Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar from officiating in the last two ODIs in Chennai and Mumbai. Dar had been originally appointed for all the five ODIs by the ICC, who will announce the replacement soon.
The ICC took this call after around 30-40 Shiv Sena members stormed into the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) headquarters in Mumbai on Sunday to protest Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Shahryar Khan's proposed meeting over an India vs Pakistan series. As a result of the protests, the scheduled meet between PCB and BCCI had to be cancelled.
"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 As such, he has been withdrawn and his replacement will be announced in due course," an ICC spokesman said.
The Shiv Sena protests have had a big impact on the Pakistan nationals involved in the ongoing India-South Africa series as former Pakistan cricketers, Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar, who are currently commentators in the series, will not be available during the last and final ODI match in Mumbai.
ICC president Zaheer Abbas, a former Pakistan batsman, also has reservations regarding Pakistan players' safety in the World T20, which is scheduled to be held between March and April next year.
Abbas believes that Pakistan players might refuse to come to India for the T20 World Cup.
"Pakistan and India cricket authorities must work it out, otherwise I fear the Pakistan players could also refuse to tour India for the upcoming World T20 Cup, citing security concerns," PTI quoted Abbas as saying to a news channel.
"I don't know what the environment will be when the World T20 is held in India but if this situation persists, obviously there will be extra pressure on our players."
The venues for the T20 World Cup have already been announced with Mumbai expected to host one of the semifinals of the competition. However, the BCCI had made it clear that Pakistan's matches will not be held in Mumbai or Nagpur for safety reasons.