England v Pakistan, 4th Test, The Oval August 23, 2006

Hair vows to carry on

Cricinfo staff



Darrell Hair has decided to stand up to any challenge to oust him © Getty Images

Darrell Hair will fight any attempts to sideline him as a result of Sunday's ball-tampering row. There has been speculation that the four Asian Test nations will try to push him out of the game, but Hair said: "If other people have issues they want to use to force me out it will be an interesting battle."

In a front page interview with The Courier-Mail's Robert Craddock he made it clear he was not going anywhere. "I have always taken a lot of pride in my performance," he said, "and while I am doing the best job I possibly can I am going to continue."

He also said that he had no regrets about his actions at The Oval that ended the Test a day early. "I stand by what I have done," he said. "But if anything comes out at the inquiry that proves me incorrect I would accept that too. The process would have been followed. People who know me and the sort of person I am know I would not take action unless I really thought it was necessary."

And Hair denied there were any problems with his relationship with the teams from the subcontinent. "That is not something that is an issue for me," he said. "There is no problem with me and the subcontinent. I have umpired quite a lot in the subcontinent over the last couple of years and when the ICC have asked me to do a job I try and do it to the best of my ability."

But the former Australian umpire Dick French told The Australian it won't be that simple. "It's a tricky one," he said. "If the Asian bloc gangs up on him and says 'We don't want him appointed in our games' there might be trouble. He can't umpire Australia as a neutral, so he can't then just umpire South Africa, the West Indies and England for the rest of his career."

Shane Warne has used his column in The Times to defend Hair of claims of racism and bias. "He tries to do the best job that he can, like any other umpire," Warne wrote. "He goes by the letter of the law and does what he thinks umpires ought to do. It is unfortunate that he has been involved in a couple of controversies in his time, but labelling him racist is unfair."

Ross Emerson, a Western Australian umpire who also called Muttiah Muralitharan for throwing and reported Pakistan for ball tampering, praised Hair for "having the balls to take action". "There have been a number of occasions when there has been a suggestion or an allegation that a ball has been tampered with but in the end most of the umpires don't want to do anything about it," he said in The Courier-Mail. "If you accuse the subcontinental sides of anything it becomes an international incident. It becomes country versus country and you are called a racist."

Hair will take two days' rest before the hearing begins on Friday in London where Inzamam-ul-Haq faces charges of bringing the game into disrepute and altering the condition of the ball. "The media criticism has been hot over here ... that surprises me," he said. "But life goes on ... nobody died."