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December 12, 2008
Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf will be able to travel to India in time to officiate for the second Test between India and England in Mohali. Rauf, who was designated to stand in both matches of the series, missed the first Test after visa complications.
"I have got the Indian visa now and I am flying to New Delhi on Monday and [will] stand in the second India-England Test," Rauf told AFP. Billy Bowden replaced Rauf for the Chennai Test after Rauf failed to obtain a city-specific visa in time.
Pakistani and Indian nationals require city-specific visas to travel to either country and Rauf had a valid visa for Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Bangalore - the first two for the India-England Test series and the third for a Champions League game. However, he had to reapply following the shifting of the Tests to Chennai and Mohali, and a delay in the issuance resulted in him stepping down for the first match.
There has been a diplomatic fallout between India and Pakistan following the attacks, but Rauf was not worried about travelling to the neighbouring country. "I have no concerns at all about travelling to India," Rauf said. "I am happy to be going there. In fact, it is important to go there because we go as peace ambassadors. Sports and these things should not mix."
Rauf has stood in 21 Tests and 56 ODIs; the last Test he stood in was also in Mohali, between India and Australia in October.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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