Fri, May 23, 2008 - Page 24 News List

Aussie umpire’s exile comes to an end

AFP , MANCHESTER, ENGLAND

Australian umpire Darrell Hair’s exile from elite cricket will come to an end when he stands in the second Test between England and New Zealand at Old Trafford today.

Throughout his career he has been known for having absolute certainty in his own judgment based on a detailed understanding of cricket’s complex rule book and a somewhat austere manner.

But in the run-up to his first Test since he penalized Pakistan for ball-tampering at The Oval in August 2006, Hair has admitted to nerves while at the same time insisting he is now a better man-manager.

“I think the decision-making ability is still there, the only thing that could change that is a lack of confidence because I haven’t done a Test match recently,” Hair said in an interview with Inside Australian Cricket.

And since his reinstatement in March, Hair has been at pains to stress how his communication skills have improved.

“I think I have picked up a few things ... making sure that what you say and what you want is understood by the other people,” he told Australian radio.

“I’ve always been a little bit ... stand-offish in that I’ve always preferred to let them play the game themselves and only get involved when things go overboard, but maybe there’s a case to be made for a little bit more work in that area,” he said.

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