Hair’s back?

Posted on September 19, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, People, Sports
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Adil Najam

Darrell Hair, the controversial Australian cricket umpire who helped wreck the recent England-Pakistan Test series, may soon be standing as umpire again… possibly in a Pakistan game.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald (20 September, 2006):

DARRELL Hair’s controversial career is set for a remarkable revival when the International Cricket Council this week announces its officials for next month’s Champions Trophy in India. The Herald understands that Hair, whom many presumed had stood in his last international match after The Oval fiasco last month, will be on the umpiring panel for the tournament. The expected announcement will undoubtedly be met with anger in Pakistan. Last week, the Pakistan Cricket Board’s chairman, Shaharyar Khan, reportedly wrote to the ICC, insisting that Hair be stood down for the Champions Trophy. The Reuters news agency went so far as to report that the Pakistanis would consider withdrawing from the Champions Trophy if Hair was appointed.

It is not clear to what extent Pakistan will push for Hair’s removal (I know, it was difficult to resist the ‘hair removal’ pun!). But Pakistan will nearly certainly push. The Herald continues:

[A Pakistan withdrawal] would seem unlikely, given that the PCB would be financially crippled by the millions of dollars in fines it would incur for violating the Future Tours Program agreement. But the mere threat of a boycott still gives an insight into the deep-seated anger felt by the Pakistanis over Hair’s decision to penalise them five runs for ball tampering during the fourth Test against England at The Oval.

The eagerly anticipated two-day disciplinary hearing stemming from that match will commence a week from today in London. An ICC panel will decide whether Pakistan’s captain, Inzamam-ul-Haq, was guilty of bringing the game into disrepute over the team’s sit-in protest, which prompted a chain of events that led to the first forfeiture in the 129-year history of Test cricket. Inzamam, as the team’s leader, also faces a ball-tampering charge…

Hair has not stood in a match at any level since the forfeited Test. In the aftermath, it was revealed that the Australian umpire had asked the ICC for $US500,000 ($664,500) in exchange for his retirement, effective immediately. Many observers felt that Hair’s position on the ICC’s elite panel of umpires had become untenable, given his unpopularity with teams including Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and the damage sustained to his reputation after the pay-out offer was revealed. But, as has been the case throughout his controversial career, Hair seems set to defy his critics and continue umpiring at the top level… If, as expected, Hair is named on the Champions Trophy umpiring panel, the ICC must then decide whether to allow him to stand in matches involving Pakistan or Sri Lanka.

7 responses to “Hair’s back?”

  1. daktar says:

    It does seem that Mr. Hair is here to stay.

    Adnan is right, boycotting will only make Pakistan look bad. But the PCB should certainly protest. The thing to do really is to get a larger coalition so that it is not just Pakistan against him. The Sri Lankans are as angry about this as Pakistan. Who else?

  2. That will be another stupid step ifthey boycott the whole tournament.Such actions are not considered sensible by any mean.

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