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Rauf steps down as umpire for Chennai Test

December 07, 2008 15:35 IST

Pakistan's Asad Rauf has had to step down as an umpire for the scheduled first Test between England and India as he could not get the proper visa, the International Cricket Council said on Sunday.

Pakistan nationals require city-specific visas when travelling to India and Rauf, who will be replaced by New Zealand's Billy Bowden, was issued visas for the original Test venues.

The first Test, starting on Thursday, was moved to Chennai from Ahmedabad and the final Test to Mohali (Dec. 19-23) from Mumbai following last week's militant attacks that killed at least 171 people.

The England team are training in Abu Dhabi as their board's security experts evaluate the situation at the test venues.

A final decision on the tour will be made by them later on Sunday after the latest security reports.

"With the change in venues he (Rauf) required a new visa but due to the weekend, followed by the Eid al-Adha holidays, there was insufficient time for one to be issued, so he has had to step down from the first test," the ICC said in a statement.

"It is anticipated Asad will be able to stand in the second match of the series in Mohali."

Bowden will join Australia's Daryl Harper as an on-field umpire for the Chennai Test.

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