With the ICC deciding to reverse the 2006 Oval Test result from a drawn encounter to that in favour of England, Australian umpire Darrell Hair, who stood in the infamous match, has hit back at cricket’s governing body, accusing its officials of trying to destroy his life.
Pakistan had refused to enter the ground after tea on the fourth day of the Oval Test protesting the docking of five runs for ball-tampering by Hair and Billy Doctrove.
The umpires then awarded the match to England declaring it a forfeiture by Pakistan. But following protests by Pakistan, the ICC appointed an adjudicator to probe the incident and decided to change the result to a draw last year.
Hair, who was briefly banned from officiating, reacted to the ICC board’s move to reverse the decision to an England win saying, “They tried to destroy my life.”
Hair also claimed today that the incident showed the ICC board has lost its credibility.
“After the ICC made the decision (to ban him), several ICC officials set out to make a real meal of it and make life very tough for me. I know for a fact that several senior ICC officials, when they saw the ball, agreed with my thoughts that it had been scratched. Yet some of those people, when the board made their decision, set out to get me,” said the retired umpire, who took the ICC to court for sacking him from the elite panel.
“I felt the gun was loaded by the ICC board and (cricket manager) Dave Richardson and (chief executive) Malcolm Speed were only too happy to pull the trigger. People like myself pay for having an opinion and standing up for what is right.”