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Venkat pulls out of Lanka assignment

KOLKATA, MARCH 6. India's Emirates Elite Panel ICC umpire, Srinivas Venkatraghavan, has pulled out of his last two assignments to end his illustrious career a bit too soon owing to ill health. He was named to stand in the first two Tests of the Sri Lanka versus Australia series at Galle and Kandy.

According to an ICC media release here on Saturday, Venkat has withdrawn from these appointments and umpires David Shepherd and Dave Orchard will replace him. The other umpires for these matches are Rudy Koertzen and Steve Bucknor.

Meanwhile, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President, Jagmohan Dalmiya, will be leaving for Auckland, New Zealand, tonight to attend meetings of the ICC Executive Board and the Board of the ICC's commercial arm, IDI, slated for Tuesday and Wednesday.

On the agenda are England's tour of Zimbabwe, the status of the agreement to return money withheld from countries following the 2003 ICC World Cup, formalising the contract for ICC's future tour programmes, arrangements for the ICC Champions Trophy 2004, the proposed `Super Series' in 2005, an update on the compensation claim made by the ICC's commercial partner, Global Cricket Corporation, and the location of the ICC headquarters. — Our Special Correspondent

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