Door open for controversial umpire Hair: ICC

Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Jaipur:The International Cricket Council (ICC) said the door was not shut on controversial Australian umpire Darrell Hair following his role in the forfeited Test between England and Paksitan in August.

Hair was initially selected for the ongoing Champions Trophy in India, said ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed, before being removed as a result of his role in that game.

"Darrell is one of the top umpires in the world and I hope we can find a way for him to continue as an umpire at the top level. It is on the agenda of the ICC meeting in Mumbai next month," Speed said on Tuesday.

The Indian cricket board last month asked the ICC not to consider Hair for the Champions Trophy because of the controversy surrounding the Australian.

"We have nothing against the man (Hair), but since there is so much controversy surrounding him, it may be better that he is not appointed," said Indian board secretary Niranjan Shah.

"We had only expressed concern about the controversy surrounding him which could distract attention from the tournament."

Hair was one of the umpires in the fourth and final Test between England and Pakistan at the Oval in August when Inzamam-ul-Haq's team were accused of ball-tampering. The Pakistani captain was later absolved of the charges.

But Inzamam was found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute after his side twice refused to take the field in the match to protest the umpires' verdict, resulting in the first forfeited match in the 129-year history of Test cricket.

ICC match referee Ranjan Madugalle found no evidence of ball-tampering, implying that Hair had been wrong to accuse Pakistan of cheating and penalising them five penalty runs.

Madugalle's ruling had raised speculation that Hair's international umpiring career may be over and his removal from the ongoing tournament panel was seen as the first step in that direction.


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