|Darrell Hair will return to the middle [GALLO/GETTY]|
Darrell Hair has been reinstated as a test match umpire by the International Cricket Council.
Hair had been banned since November 2006 because of his conduct during a test between Pakistan and England that led to the first forfeit in test cricket’s 129-year history.
His return comes after he completed a so-called “rehabilitation program” handed him in September when he agreed to drop a claim of racial discrimination by the ICC.
Hair accused Pakistan of ball tampering and, when the team refused to take the field after a break, he and fellow umpire Billy Doctrove awarded the forfeit.
The Australian umpire, who is white, was angered by the fact that he was banned while black umpire Doctrove largely escaped censure.
Although Hair was never removed from the ICC’s elite panel, which provides the umpires for test matches, he was told he would not be appointed to top level games.
Hair has since officiated in one-day internationals involving non test-playing countries, most recently Ireland against Scotland last July, and is contracted to the ICC until March 2009.