Weekday Squib: That thing about neutral umpires

Pakistan just loves them

Neutral umpires in cricket owe their existence in part to Pakistan. So it must not come as any surprise that Pakistan would insist on the neutrality of umpires officiating in more weighty matters.

Thanks to Pakistani objections, the World Bank has replaced Praful Patel, the World Bank’s vice-president for the South Asia region from reviewing Pakistan’s complaint on the Indus river water sharing issue. A suitable American has been found.

However, it transpires that the very Indian sounding Mr Patel is a fully Ugandan-born Ugandan national who, prior to joining the World Bank, studied and worked in Nairobi, Kenya.

In an unrelated development, the Pakistan Cricket Board has called for neutral umpires for their one day international series against Australia. Anglo-Saxons need not apply.

Update: Pakistan denies that it asked for Patel’s removal, and bizzarely, blames the Indian media instead.

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