Umpire returns after six-month rehabilitation March 18, 2008

Darrell Hair reinstated by ICC

Cricinfo staff

Darrell Hair: 'I wish to get back on to the field as soon as possible' © Getty Images
Darrell Hair will return to umpiring in Tests and ODIs after the ICC decided that he had successfully completed a six-month rehabilitation period. Hair has not stood in a major match since the Oval Test between England and Pakistan in 2006 when he and Billy Doctrove penalised Pakistan for ball-tampering, which led to the game being abandoned.

Hair withdrew his allegations of racial discrimination against the ICC - with whom he is contracted till March 2009 - seven days into a tribunal in London last October. It was then recommended that he enter a period of rehabilitation. While he was never removed from the ICC's elite panel, he was in effect isolated as it was made clear he would not be appointed to any game involving a Full Member.

Since he was suspended from standing in major cricket, Hair has officiated in a few ODIs involving Associate countries as well as umpiring in three ICC Intercontinental Cup matches. The ICC maintained that the decision was unanimous but it seems that a deal has been done behind the scenes as only yesterday a senior Pakistan board official said that the PCB would never countenance Hair standing in any of their matches.

Hair's response was brief. "My commitment to cricket and umpiring is as strong as ever and I wish to get back on to the field as soon as possible."

The wording of the statement from the ICC gave every indication that Hair's contract would not be extended and it stated he was free to umpire any match "in the next 12 months".

Cricket Australia welcomed the decision to reinstate Hair. "We're pleased to see Darrell back," Peter Young, the Cricket Australia spokesman, told AFP. "Cricket Australia has always had a view that he is, in a technical sense, an excellent umpire, one of the best two or three in the world. World cricket needs good umpires. We look forward to seeing him back on the circuit."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • shortshadyuk on March 20, 2008, 14:16 GMT

    Im an umpire and I believe what Daryll did to the letter of the Law was correct on the day but Bucknor is terrible full stop, Daryll Hair has a contract to see out and I can see why the ICC are trying to get their moneys worth but by allowing countries to say we dont want this official they are Undermining the authority and respect of that umpire who is on the ELITE panel no less and he hasnt made a terrible mistake in becoming the villain. He makes the odd shoddy decision but that's human nature, I think the ICC need to say we have this elite umpire and regardless of the boards wishes he should umpire impartially for any game in any country otherwise other umpires won't feel confident in applying laws that are infrequently broken

  • usyed on March 20, 2008, 10:15 GMT

    Mr Hair has created a history in test cricket. So which ICC decision is right, the previous one to oust him or the recent one to reinstate him. Such decisions makes ICC incredible.

  • MahiDhoniRules on March 19, 2008, 19:46 GMT

    A poor decision to reinstate a poor umpire. Hair is certainly no racist, but he is an incompetent umpire, that would be unfit to umpire even in a school cricket match.

    It is unfortunate for Pakistan that they have no control power over the ICC. It would be pretty funny if Hair produces a controversial decision that goes against India in the near future. With the power of the BCCI, this would surely end his career. I believe a new batch of elite panel umpires should be employed by the ICC. The umpiring standards of cricket are poor; in fact the only umpires that deserve their place in the elite panel are Aleem Dar, Simon Taufel and Asad Rauf, who collectively perform nicely.

  • HairDo on March 19, 2008, 16:24 GMT

    It should not have never even been a point of discussion. Of course he should be back! Hair may be many things: self righteous, strict, arrogant perhaps, but he is NOT a racist simply because he stops a game Pakistan played in and lost due to their own incomprehensible behaviour. Furthermore he is one of the few gutsy ball watchers who dares to apply the not-so-popular rules. It would not have been the first time Pakistan tempered with the ball, and it will probably not be the last. When do we stop allowing the "cry-racism" - crowd to hold us to ransom with any decision that goes against them? Let's just call a spade a spade, and not a bloody shovel.

  • SPK1 on March 19, 2008, 16:18 GMT

    An umpire, by definition, is one who officiates a game impartially. The recent happenings is a complete reversal of this definition. ICC now tells that there is an umpire in the elite panel but he will not officiates in any gaes involving this and that country - Mr. Buchnor for India and Mr. Hair for Pakistan. Are we going to have other limitaions too?

    An umpire from the elite panel should be free to be assigned to any game or should not be on the panel. No half measures and exceptions.

  • iabashir on March 19, 2008, 16:07 GMT

    Apparently Darrel Hair's return is an out come of two different but connected deals. On one hand Darrel Hair abandoned or withdrew his case against the ICC and on the other hand India sported his reinstatement against the concessions for IPL. However, this is not a new thing and in the world of business this is common and cricket now is more a business than a game. Therefore, if it is commercially beneficial to Australia, India & ICC they have gone for a commercially viable understanding. But I also feel that one can not be punished in perpetuity for an offence/blunder of this kind. By awarding a punishment we want to achieve two benefits one is to the offender realize that he has done a wrong and to create deterrence for others and I hope we have achieved both. (Iftikhar Ahmad Bashir)

  • N00dles on March 19, 2008, 12:11 GMT

    This is an excellent decision. A prevailing trend at the moment is for some teams to blame the umpire and not their own performance for their failures. This brings the whole game into disrepute. I love watching and playing cricket and I have never seen Hair do anything but rule completely to the letter of the law of the game. You can say all you like about Pakistan but the rules state they should have returned to the field and there was no option but to abandon the game. You can't expect umpires make up their own rules when the laws of the game state what should and did happen. As for Murali, Hair was completely correct in calling him for no balls. His technique was examined by proper analysts and the games administrators changed the rules so a bowler is no longer limited to a 5 degree but a 15 degree bend of the elbow. The laws as they were at the time therefore meant that Murali was exceeding the 5 degrees and therefore Hair was correct in calling him.

  • Adityak on March 19, 2008, 12:10 GMT

    I am happy that Darrel Hair is reinstated. I think he is a very good umpire and has always followed the laws down to the last word. Its just that some people dont like this over-accurate attitude. This decision is only a vindication that Mr Hair was right all the way through.

  • DeshanAmore on March 19, 2008, 10:46 GMT

    I've got nothing personal against the man, The ICC board decided beyond doubt Hair's conduct was not up to the mark. This man violated his responsibilities as a senior umpire. How the ICC can restore him is hard to comprehend

  • alwaqia on March 19, 2008, 9:34 GMT

    I Think ICC is not a WORLD CRICKET-Governing BODY. ICC is playing in the hands of Australia and India. Ausralia and India have commonly contracted to achive their mutual benefits.

    The Dicision of ICC , to return back Darrel Hair is quite one-sided. But ICC should remember that , such policies will lead to the development of Indian Cricket League. and ICC will Crash one day.

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