India in Pakistan, 2005-06 December 27, 2005

Pakistan may ask ICC to replace umpire Darrell Hair

Waheed Khan

Darrell Hair tells Inzamam-Ul-Haq and Kamran Akmal to stay off the pitch © Getty Images

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has thought about asking the ICC to replace Darrell Hair, the Australian umpire, for the final two Tests against India, after he was embroiled in a number of controversies in the recent home series against England.

"The Chairman of the Board has discussed the appointment of Hair by the ICC and whether it would be feasible for Pakistan to ask the world governing body to appoint another umpire in his place," a Board source told `The News' on Monday. But he made it clear that no decision had been taken on whether the PCB would ask the ICC through official or unofficial channels to replace Hair.

"It is a touchy issue and the Chairman also discussed the pros and cons/repercussions of making such a request with the ICC since the world governing body is the sole appointing authority of umpires for Tests and internationals and are keen to back up their appointed umpires at all times," the source said.

Hair will stand with South African Rudi Koertzen in the second Test in Faisalabad and then with fellow Australian Simon Taufel in the third Test at Karachi. The first Test at Lahore is to be supervised by Koertzen and Australian Daryl Harper. Taufel has also been appointed for the five ODIs. Saleem Altaf, the PCB Director Cricket Operations, declined to comment on Hair's appointment saying the ICC was the appointing authority and member countries usually followed their appointments. Asked about reports that Pakistan was considering appealing against Hair's appointment, Altaf declined to make any comments.

Asked what had happened regarding Pakistan's proposal to the Indian board to have neutral umpires supervise all five one-dayers as was done in the recent series against England, Altaf said this was still under discussion. "We had sent our proposal to the former Indian board set-up. There has been a change of guard and when we meet with the Indian official Ratnakar Shetty in Lahore on Tuesday we will discuss the issue with him. Obviously if the Indians have no problems to having neutral umpires supervise the one-dayers we will ask the ICC to make further appointments," he said.

But Altaf said he would also like to check up and see what the former Indian board set-up had said about the appointment of neutral umpires. "We are very keen on this experiment carrying on against India. But we could only do it against England after their board agreed to it," he added.

  • The ICC has not recieved a request, but a spokesman said that the position was as follows: "The appointment of umpires is not made on the basis of individual requests from any country. Appointments are made independent of the views of individual boards in a policy laid down by the ICC's Executive Board. Our umpires are independent and neutral and we have complete faith in their abilities to perform to the highest standards at all times without fear or favour."