Cricket Australia's umpire selection chairman Mel Johnson is reportedly prepared to offer Darrell Hair a career lifeline if he is dropped from cricket's elite panel over the Pakistan Test forfeit row.
The Sydney Morning Herald said Johnson could offer Hair a place on Cricket Australia's international panel, a step down from the International Cricket Council's elite panel, on which Hair is still officially listed.
His spot on the elite panel is in doubt after the ICC revealed he offered to resign for a secret $500,000 payment in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal.
"Darrell has not done anything wrong and, therefore, there is no reason why he couldn't come back on the international panel," Johnson told the Herald.
While appointments to the elite panel are made by the ICC, appointments on the international panel are made by national bodies such as Cricket Australia.
Umpires on the second tier can officiate at home one-day internationals and act as third umpires in Tests.
The 53-year-old Australian has already worked his way back up from international to elite level after being left off the ICC's inaugural elite panel in 2002 in a move widely seem as linked to his no-balling Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1995.
Until the payment revelation last week, Hair received strong support from the Australian cricketing community for his ruling that Pakistan forfeited the Fourth Test against England by refusing to take the field in protest at a ball-tampering allegation.