Reg Dickason, England's security adviser, has refuted suggestions that there is a security threat to England players Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid during their India tour. Dickason's statement comes in the wake of reports emerging that Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar would not officiate in the India-England matches anticipating nationalist protests in India.
According to the International Cricket Council (ICC), Dar was never scheduled to stand in the Test series and so cannot be properly withdrawn.
"We have no real concerns but we're certainly aware of the issues Aleem Dar has. I know it was reported that he wasn't going, that he'd been pulled out, but according to the ICC he's just been rostered at another event. But Shiv Sena had some issues with Aleem there and went to the BCCI offices. So we're certainly aware of that but we don't expect any real issues", Dickason said, as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
"I've spoken to Moeen and Adil and they seem okay to me. They haven't expressed any doubts to me", he added.
The ICC withdrew Aleem Dar from the last two One Day Internationals (ODIs) during Sri Lanka's tour of India after a group of extremists stormed the BCCI offices in Mumbai. Former Pakistan cricketers Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar who were commentating during the series were pulled out as a precaution in response to anti-Pakistan protests by Shiv Sena, a Mumbai-based regional political party.
Relations between neighbours India and Pakistan have been strained of late following ceasefire violations on the border and nationalists in India have been calling for a boycott of Pakistan. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Anurag Thakur ruled out resumption of cricketing ties between the arch-rivals until Pakistan stopped sponsoring terrorism. The BCCI is also planning to request the ICC to not pitch the two countries in the same group for the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy.