Umpire Rudi Koertzen, who angered Sri Lankans this month for wrongly giving Kumar Sangakkara out on 192, has been withdrawn from the England Tests, officials said on Tuesday.
South African Koertzen, 58, was due to stand in the three-Test series between Sri Lanka and England starting in Kandy on Saturday, but officials said the International Cricket Council (ICC) had replaced him.
"The ICC has taken Koertzen off the roster for the series," Sri Lanka Cricket media manager Samantha Algama told AFP.
Algama declined to elaborate on the sudden decision and would not comment if Sri Lanka had asked for Koertzen to be replaced.
Koertzen will be replaced by Pakistani Aleem Dar, who will officiate with fellow countryman Asad Rauf in the Kandy Test, said Algama.
Dar will stand with Daryl Harper of Australia in the second Test in Colombo, while Rauf will partner Harper during the third Test in Galle.
The ICC said it was forced to make the change because New Zealand umpire Billy Bowden opted out of the last two Tests between India and Pakistan in Kolkata and Bangalore due to personal reasons.
"We had to shift Rudi to India because Aleem cannot stand in a Test involving his own country," ICC spokesman Sami-ul Hasan told AFP by phone from the governing body's headquarters in Dubai.
Koertzen was slammed in the Sri Lanka media for ruling Sangakkara out eight runs short of a double-century during the second Test against Australia in Hobart earlier this month.
Television replays showed the ball deflect off the left-hander's shoulder, rather than the bat, to Australian captain Ricky Ponting in the slips.
Sangakkara's dismissal ended Sri Lanka's resistance and Australia won the match to sweep the series 2-0.
Koertzen later apologised to Sangakkara, who said on Tuesday he admired the umpire's humility in accepting his mistake.
"International umpires are not required to come and apologise when they make a mistake," the Sri Lankan vice-captain said.
"I thought it was a nice gesture on Rudi's part to come and have a chat and we moved on.
"I thought Rudi had an excellent game and he's a very good umpire. He's been one of the top three umpires over the last two years and as a team we respect him a lot and have a good rapport with him.
"It's so nice of him to come and have a chat and it will be nice if, as players, we too show some humility which will go a long way." said Sangakkara.
Koertzen, who has been an international umpire since 1992, has stood in 86 Tests and 182 one-day internationals.