Hair's back...

on April 29, 2008 by Administrator

Darrell Hair is back and will return to Test cricket in England this summer.

The last time he stood in a test match was in 2006 at The Oval. What happened next is one of the most infamous incidents in modern cricket history. Along with his colleague, West Indian Billy Doctrove, Hair penalised Pakistan five penalty runs for doctoring the ball. Neither he nor his fellow umpire saw any incident but after inspecting the ball decided that there was no doubt Pakistan had cheated. No TV cameras picked up anything either despite BSkyB having 33 in use at the ground for that test.

Pakistan captain Inzamam ul-Haq was not amused and at the Tea interval after a meeting between his players and the Pakistani Cricket Board members, they decided not to take the field in a protest against the umpires for their decision. That impasse led to the umpires declaring the game forfeited and awarded the victory to England.

Following on from this incident the whole cricketing world seemed to revolve around this umpire. Inzamam was acquitted on the charge of doctoring the ball despite all the ICC officials at the game agreeing that the ball showed sign of being unfairly altered. He was banned for four ODI’s for being the game into disrepute by not coming out to play after the Tea interval.

The ICC held a two-day meeting about Hair and allowed the ten full member nations to vote on what to do. Seven members (West Indies, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka) voted to ban Hair from officiating at Test level. Only Australia, England and New Zealand voted to keep Hair around. He was subsequently banned from umpiring at the top level.

His return has caused mass outcry from the sub-continent and the ICC has already said that he will not umpire any Pakistan games. How can you have an umpire or any top flight official in any sport and not allow them to umpire or referee certain teams?

This umpire has been a controversial figure in the game for far too long and by bringing him back, the ICC are going to open up yet another can of worms. Bringing him back into the game is a bad move and it isn’t a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’ will he be making headlines instead of the players on the pitch.

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