Hair pulled from Champions Trophy

Controversial cricket umpire Darrell Hair has been stood-down from his umpiring duties at next month’s Champions Trophy in India after Pakistan captain Inzamam ul-Haq was found not guilty of ball tampering.

You're out: Umpire Darrell Hair at a press conference at The Oval
You're out: Umpire Darrell Hair at a press conference at The Oval

The International Cricket Council (ICC), cited security concerns as the reason for withdrawing Hair from officiating at the tournament as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) pressed for an inquiry into the actions of the umpire during the fourth Test against England at the Oval last month.


Shaharyar Khan, PCB chairman, was seeking charges against Hair for his part in the forfeited Test, after Inzamam was banned for four one-day matches for bringing the game into disrepute.


“We have already written to the ICC asking them to investigate Mr Hair’s conduct in this Test and bringing the game into disrepute,” he said.


Khan, who said that the PCB would not be appealing against Inzamam’s suspension, reiterated Pakistan’s request for Hair not to be involved in any of their matches in the future.


“I can tell you that we have already informed the ICC before this hearing that we wouldn’t like to have Darrell Hair umpire our matches,” said Khan.


“Not only for the Champions Trophy but also until his contract runs out (in 2008).


“Let me say, we have never raised any objection to any elite or international umpire. We have a problem (with Hair), I’m not saying we will have to live with it forever, but we’ve asked the ICC to please be sensitive with their appointments.


“All I can say is that we objected to him, not just recently, but over a long period of time.”


Speaking at an Oval press conference on Thursday, Hair stood by his original decision made with West Indian umpire Billy Doctrove to change the ball and penalise the fielding Pakistani side five runs on the fourth day of the Oval Test.


“Pretty bloody good”


“I umpire matches in good faith and take the decisions I feel necessary on the field,” said Hair.


“I will still go out there and do my umpiring to the best of my ability… I’m pretty bloody good at it.


“If a mistake’s been made that’s fine but when I make that mistake in good faith I have to be happy with it.”


Turning 54 on Saturday, the Australian umpire who is a veteran of 76 Tests was disappointed at his omission from the Champions Trophy, but said he would continue officiating if given the chance.


“Of course I wish to keep on being an umpire,” Hair said.


“If other people consider I am still good enough to umpire I will continue.”


However ICC officials, acting on concerns expressed by the Champions Trophy hosting Indian Cricket Board said they were withdrawing Hair from umpiring at the tournament because of “safety and security concerns for Darrell and those who will be around him”.

Source : Al Jazeera, News Agencies

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