The Wisden Cricketer annual poll November 16, 2006

Hair voted Umpire of the Year

Cricinfo staff

Darrell Hair: ' It's a great vote of confidence' © Getty Images
In the same week that a leaked ICC report revealed that Darrell Hair was rated as their second-best umpire comes the news that he has been voted Umpire of the Season in poll carried out by The Wisden Cricketer.

Hair received more than a third of all votes (34%) in the magazine's annual poll, a decision which appears to contradict the views of his employers at the ICC, who admit to having "lost confidence" in him.

Is he hero or anti-hero? It's hard to be sure though Hair says he has received huge support from the British (if not Pakistani) public. One reader referred to him as "the only one with courage" and Hair also received votes in the Performance of the Season category with citations such as "ensuring the umpire's decision is final" and "finally exposing the cheats".

"I suppose it is a bit of a shock," Hair told the magazine. "But if free-thinking people want to vote that way and they do believe I've done the job as well as anybody or even better I can accept that fact. It's a great vote of confidence."

Umpire of the Year

1 Darrell Hair (Aus) 34%
2 Simon Taufel (Aus) 16%
3 Billy Bowden (NZ) 10%
4 Steve Bucknor (WI) 7%
5 Aleem Dar (Pak) 5%

The full poll appears in the December issue of The Wisden Cricketer.
Click here for further details.