Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Darrell Hair reinstated by ICC

Darrell Hair: once more set to umpire in major matches...

Darrell Hair will return to umpiring in Tests and ODIs after the ICC decided that he had successfully completed a six-month rehabilitation period. Hair has not stood in a major match since the Oval Test between England and Pakistan in 2006 when he and Billy Doctrove penalised Pakistan for ball-tampering.

Hair withdrew his allegations of racial discrimination against the ICC - with whom he is contracted till March 2009 - seven days into a tribunal in London last October. It was then recommended that he enter a period of rehabilitation. While he was never removed from the ICC's Elite panel, he was in effect isolated as it was made clear he would not be appointed to any game involving a Full Member.

Since he was suspended from standing in major cricket, Hair, has officiated in a few ODIs involving Associate countries as well as umpiring in three ICC Intercontinental Cup matches.

The ICC maintained that the decision was unanimous but it seems that a deal has been done behind the scenes as only yesterday a senior Pakistan board official said that the PCB would never countenance Hair standing in any of their matches.

The wording of the statement from the ICC gave every indication that Hair's contract would not be extended and it stated he was free to umpire any match "in the next 12 months".

Umpire returns after six-month rehabilitation