Thu, Aug 24, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Umpire Hair unrepentant

CRICKET IN CRISIS The Australian official said that he believes he did the right thing by accusing Pakistan of cheating and that he would not be forced out of cricket


Veteran Australian umpire Darrell Hair stood by his decision to call Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq for ball tampering in the fourth Test with England on Tuesday but accepted that if he was found to be in the wrong he would accept the decision.

The 53-year-old told Australian newspaper the Herald Sun he appreciated the support he had received from the sport's governing body the International Cricket Council (ICC) ever since he and fellow umpire Billy Doctrove decided to abandon the match when the Pakistanis refused to return to the pitch.

Inzamam, who faces an ICC hearing tomorrow on two charges for ball tampering and bringing the game into disrepute, argues they did return but it was too late as Hair and Doctrove had taken off the bails meaning the game was over and victory was handed to England.

However Hair, who ranks fourth in the all-time list of umpiring test matches, was unrepentant about his actions and insisted he would not be intimidated out of the sport which has seen him umpire test matches for the past 14 years.

"People who know me know I would not take action unless I really thought it was necessary," Hair told the newspaper. "I stand by what I have done, but if anything comes out at the inquiry that proves me incorrect, I would accept that too. The International Cricket Council has given me outstanding support and it has really been appreciated."

While Pakistan have said they do not want him to umpire any matches they are involved in again, Hair, who lives in England with his second wife, said that he was willing to take on anyone that tried to force him out of the sport.

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