Darrell Hair's career terminated by ICC - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Darrell Hair's career terminated by ICC

By Greg Buckle 05/11/2006 05:56:50 AM Comments (0)

Darrell Hair simply stood up for what he thought was right and the ICC's decision to end his international career was surprising and disappointing, Australia captain Ricky Ponting said.

"I'd be disappointed for him if that's the case," Ponting said in Mumbai before the International Cricket Council's decision was formally announced.

"He's obviously done lots of good things right over a long period of time. I'm sure he'd be disappointed."

Ponting said he didn't feel Hair had been "trying to make a name for himself" by taking a firm stand against Pakistan at The Oval Test in August, where he penalised the visiting side five runs for ball-tampering.

"He's done what he believed was right at the time for the good of the game. Nothing to do with himself," Ponting said of the Australian umpire.

"We, because we're Australian, we don't get to see him much (because of the ICC's neutral Test umpires policy).

"We haven't had any games with him in the last couple of years but before that you'd have the odd one-day game here or a Pura Cup game along the way and I've always felt he's been a terrific umpire.

"I'm surprised by it.

"I think that's been shown by being on the panel as long as he has (since 2003)," Ponting added after winning the ICC's Player of the Year Award.

The decision to sack England-based Hair from the elite umpiring panel was announced by the ICC at a news conference at Mumbai's Brabourne Stadium, where Australia meets West Indies in Sunday's Champions Trophy final.

"The board have discussed this matter at length ... and they have come to the conclusion that they have lost confidence in Mr Hair," ICC president Percy Sonn said.

"We won't appoint him to officiate in any international matches until the end of his contract.

ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed confirmed Hair's contract on the elite panel ended in March 2008 and that he would not be appointed to umpire Tests or one-day internationals between full-member countries.

"I spoke to Darrell yesterday after that decision was made. I have told him about that," Speed said.

"He was very disappointed. David Richardson the ICC general manager of cricket and myself will speak to Darrell in the next couple of days when he's had a chance to think about what this means for him."

Hair, originally from Mudgee in NSW, was at the centre of controversy in August when he accused Pakistani bowlers of ball-tampering.

Pakistan refused to take the field after tea on the fourth day in protest, forcing Hair and his colleague Billy Doctrove of the West Indies to award the match to England.

An ICC inquiry conducted by chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle of Sri Lanka on September 28 cleared Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq of ball-tampering, placing Hair's career in limbo.

Hair's reputation was damaged when the ICC revealed he had asked for $US500,000 ($A646,000) in return for quitting the panel.

The 54-year-old Australian has not been popular with Asian Test-playing nations since he called Sri Lanka off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan for throwing in 1995-96.

Australia's Simon Taufel, who won his third successive ICC Umpire of the Year Award in Mumbai on Friday night, said Hair not acted in isolation.

"It was both umpires who made those decisions on the day to award the penalty runs and to also award the match," Taufel said.

"It wasn't just one umpire. And those umpires actually followed the laws of playing the game."

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