Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq, who was at the helm of the Oval fiasco, has expressed "shock" over the reinstatement of Umpire Darrell Hair by the ICC and asked the Cricket Board to further review the issue.
"It has come as a shocker to me. Especially after all that happened in the Oval Test and afterwards. What more proof they required (that) Hair was not fit to stand in international matches," Inzamam told PTI over phone.
Inzamam, currently playing in the Indian Cricket League, felt the Pakistan board needed to learn something from the way the Indian board backed its players on contentious issues and take a stronger stand on the issue.
"I don't know what happened in this ICC meeting today. I don't know the details but what I know is that after the Oval Test, it was clear Hair should not supervise international matches. Why that has changed is surprising to me. Our board still needs to review this issue."
Inzamam was the captain of the Pakistan team which refused to continue play after tea on the fourth day of the Oval Test between Pakistan and England in August 2006 after Hair and fellow umpire Billy Doctrove penalised them five runs on charges of ball tampering.
Hair and Doctrove then called off the match, which leading to the first-ever forfeiture in the Test cricket history.
An ICC adjudicator later cleared Pakistan of ball tampering charges but banned Inzamam for four matches for misconduct while submitting a negative report about Hair which led to his ouster from the Elite Panel of umpires.
Former Cricket Board chief Shaharyar Khan also termed as "shocking" the reinstatement of the Australian umpire and said a lot of details about Hair which came to light in the adjudicator's hearing were not revealed publicly.
"Those details were never revealed but they confirmed that Hair was not fit to be on the elite panel".
"I just don't understand it; until 15 months ago this man was not fit for umpiring but now all of a sudden the ICC has changed its decision. It should have taken all the affected parties including myself, Inzamam and the Pakistan board into confidence before taking such a decision," Shaharyar said.
He said the ICC Board had decided to not give postings to Hair because it felt he had overstepped his authority in the Oval Test.
Former captain Rashid Latif said he was sure something had taken place inside the ICC corridors of power that led to Hair's return.
"I don't know what it is. But when a man who is considered persona non grata until few months ago is suddenly restored, (it) shows some deal has taken place."