ICC cancel Board meeting to discuss Hair issue

Published: Tuesday, August 29, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London: International Cricket Council (ICC) today said it would cancel the Executive Board meeting called for Saturday in Dubai to discuss the controversial offer by umpire Darrell Hair. The Board directors already had an ''understanding'' of the issues and a meeting was not, therefore, necessary.

''Having had the chance to contact the directors and seeing they have an understanding of the situation I have decided this course of action is not necessary so I have decided to cancel the meeting,'' ICC President Percy Sonn said in a statement.

''I sent each Director a note last Friday and will telephone each of them over the next couple of days to further explain what has happened over the past week and ensure they understand the process from here onwards.'' He said there had been much speculation over the past few days about whether the Executive Board has the power to overturn a properly laid charge by the umpires.

''That speculation would only be bound to intensify ahead of the weekend and so by canceling the meeting it will allow everyone to get off that particular topic and focus on the cricket to be played this week instead,'' the ICC chief said.

''The original intention was to seek legal advice concerning the Executive Board's powers but I do not believe it is necessary to obtain that advice. We have processes in place to deal with Code of Conduct matters and we should not seek to interfere with it.'' The controversy began when Hair and fellow umpire Billy Doctrove imposed a five-run penalty against Pakistan for allegedly tampering with the ball.

The tourists then refused to take the field after tea interval on the fourth afternoon in protest and the game was awarded to England by forfeit.

Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq was later charged with bringing the game into disrepute and ball-tampering.

Following the incident, Hair e-mailed ICC umpires' manager Doug Cowie and expressed a willingness to resign in return for a payment of 500,000 dollar but subsequently withdrew the offer.

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