ICC takes ~~Hair-raising~~ decision!

Published: Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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The controversial Aussie umpire Darrell Hair, who was sacked for his role in the infamous Oval Test, reinstated in Elite Panel. Dubai: The International Cricket Council (ICC) reinstated the controversial Australian Darrell Hair as a Test and one-day international umpire on Tuesday.

The sport's governing body in its executive board meet held decided to shorten the 2011 World Cup.

ICC also said a "full independent security assessment" would be made before violence-hit Pakistan staged the Champions Trophy in September.

The Hair issue was the most significant of several decisions taken by the ICC's executive board at the end of a two-day meeting in its headquarters Dubai.

Hair, 55, was sacked from the ICC's elite panel of umpires in Nov 2006 for his role in the Oval Test in August that year when Pakistan became the first team to forfeit a Test.

Pak refused to return to the field in protest after being penalised for alleged ball-tampering and England being awarded five extra runs.

"Darrell Hair is a good, competent umpire and his position will be reviewed after March 31, 2009 as is the case with other umpires at the end of their contracts," ICC president-elect David Morgan told reporters.

"It was a unanimous decision."

The move came after Hair underwent a rehabilitation programme devised by the ICC and umpired less important fixtures.

On Chamions Trophy: The ICC board also decided Pakistan would stage the Champions Trophy (CT) at three venues, provided security fears were allayed after Australia postponed this month's tour to the country following a series of bomb blasts.

IPL: In addition, the ICC said international tours would take precedence over the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL), a franchise-based Twenty20 league due to be launched next month.

It decided national boards, concerned the IPL could take players away from international duty, will have the right to stop a player featuring in the IPL until two years after his retirement.

World Cup 2011: The ICC cleared the way for a shorter 2011 World Cup by deciding on a 14-team format, reduced from 16 after last year's edition in West Indies was criticised for being too long and unwieldy.

Zimb audit: Cricket's ruling body also said an independent audit found serious financial irregularities in the Zimbabwe board accounts but did not call for any sanctions, saying there was no evidence of criminality and no individuals had gained financially.

Player referrals: A plan to trial increased use of technology was approved, allowing player referrals of on-field decisions to the TV umpire.

Subject to the consent of the England and Wales Cricket Board and Cricket South Africa, the trial will be conducted during the test series between those two sides in England later this year.


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