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Umpire Hair breaks silence

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August 27, 2006 16:27 IST

Darrell Hair said his decision to ask for $500,000 to quit his role as an umpire following the Pakistan ball-tampering furore is not a panic reaction to events at the Oval last week.

Hair has been heavily criticised since the International Cricket Council (ICC) revealed details of an email he sent to officials requesting a one-off payment in return for quitting their elite panel of umpires after the row.

"It wasn't a spur of the moment thing. I didn't do it off the cuff," Hair told Australia's Sunday Mail.

Hair and fellow umpire Billy Doctrove imposed a five-run penalty on Pakistan for ball tampering on the final day of the fourth Test against England in London last week.

Pakistan subsequently forfeited the game when they refused to take the field after tea in protest at the decision. It was the first forfeiture in Test cricket's 129-year history.

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq will face charges of ball tampering and bringing the game into disrepute at an ICC disciplinary meeting on September 15.


But Hair, who has been vilified in Pakistan's media over his decision and a perceived bias against Asian teams, said he meant no harm with the shock offer to stand down revealed on Friday.

"This correspondence was composed at a very difficult time and was revoked by myself after a period of serious consideration," he said in a statement.

"There was no malicious intent behind this communication with the ICC. I am anxious the code of conduct hearing takes place as soon as possible so these matters can be resolved and allow me to move on with my umpiring."

Hair insisted his request had fallen on some sympathetic ears before he retracted it following an intervention from ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed.

"I had dialogue with them. [ICC Umpires and Referees manager] Doug Cowie even said in his email reply to my offer that the proposal had merit."

Asked whether he would ever umpire again, Hair told the Mail: "Let's address one thing at a time."


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