Asoka de Silva dropped from crucial matches


Asoka de Silva, whose decision-making has come in for intense criticism during the World Cup, will not officiate in a couple of key group games that he was originally marked for. de Silva is the only umpire among the 18 deployed whose success percentage in reviewed decisions is less than 50%.

He was supposed to have been one of the on-field umpires for Thursday's crucial match between England and West Indies, and he was also the third umpire for the India-West Indies game. Instead, according to ICC's revised schedule, he will be the fourth umpire in the Ireland-Netherlands match on Friday, and will be an on-field umpire in the Zimbabwe-Kenya game on Sunday. Both those games are inconsequential, with all four teams already out of the World Cup.

The ICC has said the move was necessitated by the fact that they did not want their best umpires, like Taufel, standing in matches of lesser importance. "It was part of the re-organising for the last part of the group stage, to ensure the in-form umpires are on the field and in the third umpire's room for these crucial matches," Dave Richardson, the ICC general manager said.

de Silva's place in Thursday's match between England and West Indies will be taken by Bruce Oxenford - originally listed as the fourth umpire in that game - while Simon Taufel will be the third umpire. For the India-West Indies match, Taufel and Steve Davies will be the on-field umpires, with Oxenford the third umpire.

de Silva has had a poor World Cup so far, with several of his decisions being overturned by the Decision Review System: of the seven times his decisions have been challenged, only three times has his original call stood. One of those three instances was the lbw decision against Ireland's Gary Wilson in the match against West Indies. Wilson challenged the call, and replays clearly showed the ball had struck his pad outside the line of off when he was attempting a shot, but de Silva refused to change his decision, a move that was strongly criticised by Ireland captain William Porterfield. Had that decision been changed, as it should have been, de Silva's score in reviewed decisions would have been two correct calls out of seven.

The changes in the umpiring schedule

England v West Indies
Originally - Asoka de Silva and Steve Davis, Shahvir Tarapore (third), Bruce Oxenford (fourth)
Revised - Bruce Oxenford and Steve Davis, Simon Taufel (third), Shahvir Tarapore (fourth)

Ireland v Netherlands
Originally - Simon Taufel and Ian Gould, Kumar Dharmasena (third), Billy Doctrove (fourth)
Revised - Billy Doctrove and Ian Gould, Kumar Dharmasena (third), Asoka de Silva (fourth)

Australia v Pakistan
Originally - Tony Hill and Marais Erasmus, Nigel Llong (third), Tyron Wijewardena (fourth)
Revised - Tony Hill and Marais Erasmus, Tyron Wijewardena (third), Billy Bowden (fourth)

Zimbabwe v Kenya
Originally - Billy Doctrove and Kumar Dharmasena, Ian Gould (third), Simon Taufel (fourth)
Revised - Asoka de Silva and Kumar Dharmasena, Ian Gould (third), Billy Doctrove (fourth)

India v West Indies
Originally - Steve Davis and Bruce Oxenford, Asoka de Silva (third), Shahvir Tarapore (fourth)
Revised - Steve Davis and Simon Taufel, Bruce Oxenford (third), Shahvir Tarapore (fourth)