'Umpires have to follow the laws as they are written' August 22, 2006

Hair and Doctrove were right - Taufel

Cricinfo staff

Simon Taufel and Darrell Hair hold a conference about the light in India © Getty Images

Simon Taufel, who is regarded as the world's best umpire, believes Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove had to "follow the letter of the law" and abandon the fourth Test between England and Pakistan at The Oval. Taufel stood in the opening two games of the series and told the Sydney Morning Herald the problem was not just "a Darrell Hair issue".

"The umpires made the decision together," he said in the paper. "The Darrell Hair I know calls the game the way he sees it without fear or favour. He knows the laws better than anyone."

Taufel said if the fielding side refused to go back on to the ground there was not much the umpires could do. "They can inform them that they should go on to the field, then if they still refuse, they can inform them that the match will be awarded to the opposing team," he said. "Umpires have to follow the laws ... as they are written, so it's hard to fault the umpires in this case. The disappointing thing is that the spirit of cricket has taken a hit over this."