ICC rejects Pak request of keeping Hair off

Published: Wednesday, August 23, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Dubai: Rejecting Pakistan's demand of keeping Australian umpire Darrell Hair away from its fixtures, the ICC has made it clear that the appointment of on-field officials was the sole prerogative of its Chief Executive and the Chairman of the Cricket Committee, Sunil Gavaskar and no member nation could interfere in the matter.

Reacting sharply to Pakistan's demand, ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed affirmed the primacy of on-field umpires in decision-making.

''Subsequent to the end of the Test we have received a letter from the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board expressing his concerns about the appointment of Darrell Hair to matches involving Pakistan,'' Mr Speed said in a statement.

''However, it remains the role of the ICC and not our members to appoint umpires to Tests and one-day internationals,'' he added.

Mr Speed said the ICC had received similar requests about Hair from Pakistan earlier as well but he made it clear that the governing body would not appoint umpires based on the demands as the procedure to appoint the officials was accepted unanimously by the mamber nations.

''The appointments are made without fear or favour and are based on the performances of the umpires in international matches. This process has been approved by the ICC's Executive Board, which includes representatives of all the Test-playing teams, and has proved successful,'' the ICC CEO said.

Reflecting on the forfeited fourth Test between England and Pakistan, Mr Speed said though he regretted the way the match ended but the ICC had no plans to over-rule the decision made by the umpires.

''It is not the role of the ICC to overturn the decisions of on-field umpires, the people who are enshrined in the Laws of Cricket as the sole judges of fair and unfair play, the ultimate arbiters of the game,'' he said.

''In this instance the decision made by Billy Doctrove and Darrell Hair to award the match to England was the correct one under the Laws,'' he added.

Speaking about Friday's disciplinary hearing, which would decide whether to punish Inzamam-ul Haq for tampering with the ball and bringing the game into disrepute with the walkout, Mr Speed said the matter would be decided purely on the basis of cricketing laws and no other issue would be brought under consideration.

''It should be borne in mind that Friday's Code of Conduct hearing is not a political, racial or religious matter but a cricketing one.

''The hearing will deal with two separate charges, one of them the issue of the Pakistan team allegedly changing the condition of the ball and the other that it allegedly brought the game into disrepute by remaining in the dressing room when the match should have resumed after the tea interval,'' he said.

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