New Delhi:Sanjay Hazare on Saturday made a premature ODI debut as an on-field umpire, while Sri Lankan match official Ashoka de Silva will fly in soon to officiate in the remainder of the India-Australia series.
Cricket Board (BCCI) chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty said that even though Hazare was scheduled to make his debut in the sixth match of the series, the sudden decision to field him in today's game was taken by ICC match referee Chris Broad to reduce the pressure on two other umpires - Ameesh Saheba and Shavir Tarapore.
"Hazare was supposed to officiate in the sixth match of the series but match referee Chris Broad decided that he will stand in today's match to reduce the pressure on other two officials," Shetty said.
"Actually we had sent Ameesh Saheba and Shavir Tarapore's names to the ICC as on-field umpires and Hazare as TV umpire for the series. But there is a rule in ICC that if there are more than four matches in the series, the TV umpire can stand as on-field umpire," he said.
"I'm told ICC umpire Ashoka de Silva will stand in the next four matches of the series," he added.
Shetty also hinted that Saheba, who stood in the first three matches of the series, might be rested in the next match.
"The umpires will be rotated in the remaining matches of the series," Shetty said.
ICC Elite Panel umpire Mark Benson was supposed to be the on-field official for the first four matches of the series but the Englishman suffered a severe bout of migraine on the eve of the opening match at Vadodara, forcing the BCCI to field in local appointees in the first two games.
Asked about Benson's condition, Shetty said the Englishman had already flown back home.