Benson to explain Adelaide walk-out

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The Independent Online

Mark Benson's future as a leading umpire is expected to be clarified today after talks with his International Cricket Council superiors. Benson, 51, left the second Test between Australia and West Indies after the first day without a reason being given.

He has arrived back in the UK and was in talks with ICC umpires' chief Vince van der Bijl yesterday and is due to make a statement. Although the ICC has maintained Benson withdrew due to health reasons, there have been suggestions he was upset with use of the umpire decision review system during the opening day in Adelaide when one of his decisions was overturned.

Asked whether the sole reason was health, ICC general manager Dave Richardson said: "We can categorically say that," and added of reports that the referral system had caused the walk-out: "It's totally inaccurate. What we can say without speaking to Mark is that he quit for a combination of health and pressure problems. Coping with a very pressured job proved too much for him."

Back in Adelaide, Chris Gayle unbeaten 155 put West Indies in a winning position. They took a conservative approach until the final overs of the third session, adding 101 for 5 after tea to reach 284 for 8 at stumps, giving the visitors a lead of 296.