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PCB to press for neutral umps in ODIs

March 01, 2005 16:23 IST

The Pakistan Cricket Board is hoping India will back its proposal of two neutral umpires in one-day internationals when International Cricket Council takes up the issue for discussion in the Executive Board meeting later this month.

PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan would discuss the proposal with BCCI President Ranbir Singh Mahendra during his visit to India for the ICC meeting, scheduled to be held in Delhi on March 17 and 18, PCB sources said.

"Shaharyar Khan will try to convince Mahendra to support his proposal of third country umpires in one day internationals. No one can deny the importance of India in the ICC," the sources said.

PCB submitted its proposal for neutral umpires in one day internationals after some poor umpiring cost them dearly in the tri-series final against Australia last month.

Under the present ICC rules, one of the two on-field umpires is from the host nation while the other is from a third country.

The ICC has included Pakistan's proposal in the agenda for its Executive Board meeting.

PCB sources said it was also expecting support from countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, West Indies and Zimbabwe.

"India's support means the support of Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and West Indies which means five certain votes in favour of third country umpires in one-dayers," they said.

"We have prepared a paper which we will submit in the executive committee meeting. But prior to that, we would like to secure maximum votes in favour of the proposal and then wait for the ICC to give decision because plenty of things are involved."

The sources admitted that implementing the proposal was not going to be easy but PCB was going ahead with it to ensure that the standard of cricket improves.

"We know its not going to be easy. Besides plenty of finances involved, the ICC will have to identify Test and ODI umpires.

"It will be a big task. But we are pressing for it because we are convinced that the standard of cricket will improve."

Samiul Hasan in Karachi
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