The International Cricket Council concedes it has placed added pressure on replacement umpire Billy Bowden, but insists it had no choice but to stand down Steve Bucknor after his lamentable performance in the second Test against India in Sydney, the Australian media has reported.
Dave Richardson, the ICC's general manager (cricket), said the decision to remove Bucknor from the Perth Test was not tantamount to the council caving in to the demands of the powerful Board of Control for Cricket in India, but was made to relieve the pressure on the Jamaican official.
"Given the controversies surrounding this series, you could say there was a little extra pressure, but this is a clean slate now," Richardson said from Dubai.
"I would be concerned about the precedent set if this decision was made because of the complaints of a team. But it was made in the best interests of the game, and we reserve the right to change umpiring appointments from time to time, if the situation warrants it."
In Perth on Sunday, Bowden wouldn't comment on his appointment.
India, who trails the four-Test series 0-2, plays the next Test here from Wednesday.