Darrell Hair: ICC report will give him more food for thought © Getty Images
The ICC might have washed its hands of Darrell Hair, but the elite umpire just won't go away as quietly as the mandarins in Dubai must have hoped he would.
A week after being told that he would not be allowed to officiate in another international match, rumours continue to rumble that Hair might be seriously considering suing for damages. Hair's case appears to have been strengthened by leaked reports in Sydney's Daily Telegraph which state that he received an excellent rating from the ICC immediately before the infamous Oval Test last August. The ICC report effectively ranked Hair as second best in the world, and on decision-making statistics alone, measured from video evidence, he was rated top, with 253 correct out of 263 - a success rate of 95.5%.
The newspaper claims to have a copy of the ICC's individual report on Hair in which states that "you do not shirk your responsibilities in this area, putting your faith in the process to get the correct outcome." It continues: "Your pragmatic approach to problem-solving has enabled you to find commonsense solutions that arise. You display a first-class knowledge of laws and regulations."
Cricket Australia has demanded that the ICC explain the decision to sack Hair, but as yet there has been no public response.
In the same paper, Robert Craddock wrote that if the case did go to court then "the ICC will have a major challenge explaining how a man ranked the world's No. 2 umpire one season could be dumped out of the game the next ... by throwing Hair out of international cricket, the ICC has also completely undermined its own staff."