Benson: Withdrawal unrelated to referral system

BY foxsports • December 8, 2009

Umpire Mark Benson denied reports Tuesday that his withdrawal from the second test between Australia and West Indies was unrelated to the contentious referral system in use in Adelaide. Benson withdrew after Friday's first day and left Australia amid media reports that he was unhappy because two of his decisions had been challenged under the new system. Third umpire Asad Rauf overturned the second decision and ruled that Shivnarine Chanderpaul had been caught off the bowling of Shane Watson, but Benson said in a statement that he only withdrew because of health issues. He denied newspaper speculation that he had resigned from the International Cricket Council's elite panel of umpires. "I felt that due to my general health, I was not up to the task and felt it was in the best interests of the game, the ICC and myself that I step down and hand over to my colleague on the elite panel, Asad Rauf," Benson said in a statement released by the ICC. "I have been in discussions with the ICC since my return from Australia and we have agreed that I will undergo a series of medical assessments. "We will then discuss my future and my position as an ICC elite umpire." Benson did not elaborate on his health problems. British papers reported that Benson had headaches and heart and stomach problems. "My withdrawal had nothing whatsoever to do with the decision review system," Benson said. "I remain a proponent of the use of technology as it helps the reduction of the obvious umpiring errors. "The media speculation about the so-called disagreement in the umpires' room is unfounded and totally untrue."