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Hair back in ICC Elite Panel

cricket Updated: Mar 19, 2008 13:07 IST

AFP
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Darrell hair, the Australian umpire who was barred from officiating in top-level matches following the 2006 abandoned Oval Test between England and Pakistan, was reinstated on Tuesday as a Test match umpire.

Hair has not stood in a Test since he and his West Indian colleague Billy Doctrove penalised Pakistan five runs for ball-tampering, prompting Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq to refuse to play on.

As a result, the match was abandoned after tea on the fourth day and England were awarded the first victory by forfeit in the history of the game.

Hair, who has since been restricted to one-day internationals involving minor nations, was cleared to return to Test match umpiring at a meeting of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in Dubai.

“The board has decided that he can be appointed to matches involving full member countries once more,” a spokesman for the governing body confirmed.

The decision marks the latest development in what has been one of the most controversial and divisive sagas in the history of cricket.

Hair’s return to the fold follows a six-month rehabilitation programme which he agreed to undertake last October, when he dropped a race discrimination claim against the ICC on the seventh day of a ten-day hearing at a London employment tribunal.

Hair had claimed he was a victim of racial discrimination because, while he has not been allowed to officiate in Tests since the forfeit Test, his colleague Doctrove, a black Dominican, was allowed to continue his top-level career.