Hair left out due to controversy: BCCI

Published: Friday, September 29, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai: Denying the International Cricket Council's claim that Darrel Hair was dropped from the Champions Trophy due to ''security and safety concerns,'' the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) today said the umpire was left out due to the controversy surrounding him.

BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah said, ''We are capable of providing top class security to all, including Hair. We were worried about the controversy surrounding him, as the crowd might react in a negative way. Also, the media might hound him for interviews and we did not want that.'' Earlier in the week, BCCI president Sharad Pawar had written a letter to the ICC asking them to drop Hair.

The Australian was omitted from the tournament on Thursday after the two-day hearing at the Oval involving Inzamam-ul Haq, where the Pakistan captain was cleared of the ball tampering charges.

BCCI's administrative head Professor Ratnakar Shetty said the BCCI had never expressed concern about safety and security.

''In fact, one of the requisites for all the ICC events is to provide adequate security to all teams and individuals,'' he said.

Shetty further said that all the Elite panel umpires have been named to officiate in the Champions Trophy, except Hair, and a replacement for him would be announced in a day or two.

The three match referees for the tournament are Sri Lanka's Ranjan Madugalle, South Africa's Mike Proctor and New Zealand's Jeff Crowe, Shetty added.

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