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Hair returns to umpiring

Darrell Hair made his return to international cricket on Thursday when he officiated on the first day of the Intercontinental Cup clash between Canada and the Netherlands in Ontario.

Hair, a veteran of 76 Tests, was voted off the ICC's panel of elite umpires in November last year, following his handling of the Oval Test against Pakistan in August 2006, when Pakistan were penalised for alleged ball-tampering and subsequently forfeited the match.

He remains under contract with the ICC until April 2008, but his appearances since November have been sporadic. He officiated in the World Cricket League final between Kenya and Scotland in Nairobi in February, but there seems little prospect of him ever standing at the highest level again. Hair, 54, is suing the ICC for racial discrimination in a hearing that starts in London on October 1 and is expected to last two weeks.

Since the incident at The Oval, Hair has left his home in the UK to live in Sydney and is believed to be writing his memoirs. In the match at Ontario, he is standing alongside the Bermudan Roger Dill, a 49-year-old firefighter.