The International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced that it has withdrawn Aleem Dar from the remaining matches in the ongoing India-South Africa series over security concerns.
The ICC made the decision following Monday’s incident in Mumbai where a group of activists of India's far-right political group Shiv Sena attacked the headquarters of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), just before Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan was to meet BCCI chief Shashank Manohar to discuss a bilateral series in December.
Shiv Sena had also threatened to stop Dar from officiating in the fifth and final ODI between India and South Africa to be played in Mumbai on Sunday.
“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 As such, he has been withdrawn and his replacement will be announced in due course,” an ICC spokesman said.
Aleem, a member of the Elite Panel of ICC Umpires, had officiated in the first three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and was also scheduled to umpire in the fourth and fifth ODIs in Chennai and Mumbai on 22 and 25 October, respectively.
Earlier today, Sena activists crashed through the gates of the office in Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium, which serves as the headquarters of the BCCI, to disrupt a meeting of BCCI and PCB officials.
The activists shouted anti-Pakistan slogans and held posters that read 'Shahryar Khan go back', determined to stop Manohar from meeting his Pakistani counterpart.
The protesters entered Manohar's office and crowded around his desk, shouting slogans and demanded that the Indian chief cancel talks with PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan that were planned in Mumbai on Monday.