Steve Bucknor shown the door

Under immense pressure from various quarters, cricket's premier governing body ICC, on Tuesday decided to remove Steve Bucknor as umpire.

updated: January 10, 2008 14:13 IST
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New Delhi:

Under immense pressure from various quarters, cricket's premier governing body ICC, on Tuesday decided to remove Steve Bucknor as umpire from India-Australia series.

ICC chief Malcolm Speed told reporters that Billy Bowden will replace Bucknor for the rest of the series.

The decision comes after there was ill-feeling between the two teams and umpiring errors.

"It is accepted that Steve, and his on-field colleague Mark Benson, did not have good games by their very high standards and we feel that given the added pressure and attention Steve's presence would have at the third Test, it is better for the match and for Steve himself if he does not take part," said ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed.

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"It is important to stress that Steve has not been replaced due to any representations made by any team or individuals. The ICC remains the sole body responsible for the appointment of umpires and no team has the right to object to any appointment. The decision by the ICC to replace Steve for this match was made in the best interests of the game and the series," Speed said in a press release.

West Indian Bucknor is one of the most experienced umpires in the ICC elite panel, but he drew flak for poor umpiring in the second Test in Sydney between India and Australia.

Former as well as present Indian cricketers had lambasted Bucknor for his wrong decisions and had demanded that he be shown the door.

Even Australian media laughed off the lopsided umpiring in the Sydney Test.

Fans across India have been demanding for the cancellation of the tour itself after Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh was banned for three Tests by the ICC match refree Mike Proctor.

Meanwhile, the ICC has also confirmed that it has received official notification from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) of its appeal against the finding that India spinner Harbhajan Singh was guilty of making a racist remark to Australia all-rounder Andrew Symonds.

Now, Harbhajan has been allowed to play in Perth Test pending hearing on his appeal. The ICC informed that Appeal Commissioner on Harbhajan issue to named in 24 hours.

"The ICC has a robust process of dealing with Code of Conduct issues and that process will now run its natural course," said Mr Speed.

Harbhajan was allegedly involved in a verbal duel with Australia's Andrew Symonds after which Symonds had lodged complaint with ICC.

Also Sri Lanka's Ranjan Madugalle to join Mike Proctor as co-refree for the Perth Test.