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Hair would have needed protection in India

The ICC had raised concerns over a 'potential negative reaction' from the crowd towards Hair.

india Updated: Oct 09, 2006 14:19 IST

The International Cricket Council has said umpire Darrell Hair was withdrawn from the Champions Trophy after it was told that he would be at a "heightened" risk and require 24-hour protection in the wake of the Oval Test controversy.

ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed said ICC had sought an independent security advice after BCCI raised concerns over a "potential negative reaction" from the crowd towards Hair after which it decided that it was in the best interest of the Australian that he be withdrawn.

"Prior to the hearing we received a letter from the BCCI President Sharad Pawar raising his concerns about a potential negative reaction from some followers of the game there and the security implications this may have," Speed said.

"We listened to this view and sought independent security advice which highlighted a heightened risk and the need for 24 hour protection. In the circumstances we decided it was in the best interests of Darrell and the tournament not to send him to the event," he said in a column for cricinfo portal.

The ICC CEO also backed Hair to once again officiate in international matches as a member of the Elite umpires' panel.

"And in that regard it was pleasing to see comments from both Inzamam-ul-Haq and Shaharyar Khan last weekend expressing similar sentiments."

Speed denied that the disciplinary hearing's outcome on the Oval fiasco undermined the authority of umpires. Instead, he said, it underlined that players could not take law into their own hands.

"Cricket must learn from this (the Oval) experience.

"Far from undermining the authority of the umpires, as some have claimed, the hearing maintained it. By banning Inzamam-ul-Haq for four matches, Ranjan Madugalle confirmed players cannot take the law into their own hands, no matter how wronged they feel. The fact the Pakistan Cricket Board have not appealed the ban is a clear indication it accepts that," he said.

He also admitted that the issue of ball tampering needed "careful consideration" by both MCC, who are responsible for the Laws, and ICC's own cricket committee.