Hyderabad:Cricket's governing body on Wednesday took pre-emptive steps to ensure the upcoming Test series between India and Australia is free from acrimony and bitterness.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) kept umpires Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson off the roster for the eagerly awaited four-match series starting in Bangalore on October 9.
The duo officiated in the ill-tempered Sydney Test between the two nations earlier this year that almost saw India pulling out of the series after a string of controversial decisions.
An angry India agreed to continue the tour only after the ICC pacified them by standing down West Indian Bucknor from the subsequent Perth Test, which he was due to officiate.
England's Benson had not been named for the rest of the series.
Rudi Koertzen of South Africa and Asad Rauf of Pakistan will umpire the first two Tests in Bangalore and Mohali, while New Zealand's Billy Bowden will join Pakistani Aleem Dar for the other two in New Delhi and Nagpur.
Former England batsman Chris Broad will be the match referee for the entire series, which ends on November 10.
The Sydney Test ended a pre-series agreement that the fielder's word will be taken for disputed catches and Australian captain Ricky Ponting was unsure it will be in place for the current tour.
"I will have a think about it over the next couple of days and see if I think it is the right idea to bring it up again," Ponting, in Hyderabad for the four-day tour opener from Thursday, said.
He stressed that Indian captain Anil Kumble had ended the agreement after Sydney and could oppose it again.
"Anil was the one who did not want that after the Sydney Test for one reason or the other," the Australian skipper said.
"To me it's like flogging a dead horse, to tell the truth. I go to every referee meeting before a series wanting to play the game like that, but almost every other captain in the world is not interested."
Ponting hoped a chat with Kumble at the referee's traditional pre-series meeting in Bangalore would ensure the Tests were played in the right spirit.
"We will have a chat and it's important to us Australians to play the game in the right spirit and embrace the culture," he said.
"Anyway, we did meet during the middle of the last series before the Perth Test and spoke a lot about the way we should play in the remaining Test matches there.
"We know lots will be made in the media about the apparent tension between the two sides. But even last summer, the tension was not as high as it was made out to be."
Australia, the world's number one side, are hoping to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy they won by identical 2-1 margins in the last two series in 2004 and earlier this year.