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ICC encouraged my offer: Hair

The Aussie umpire says ICC asked him to make the offer to quit following the ball-tampering furore at the Oval.

india Updated: Aug 28, 2006 18:45 IST

Darrell Hair said he was encouraged by the ICC to make an offer to quit as an umpire following the Pakistan ball-tampering furore at the Oval last week.

Hair has been heavily criticised since the International Cricket Council (ICC) revealed details of an email he sent to officials requesting a $500,000 one-off payment in return for quitting their elite panel of umpires after the row.

In a statement released by his lawyers today Hair said, "I was encouraged to make the offer that was disclosed by ICC on 25 August 2006.

"During an extended conversation on 21 August 2006 with Mr (Doug) Cowie, the Umpires' Manager for ICC, I was invited to make a written offer.

"The opening words of my first email to Mr Cowie confirm this: 'Just (to) firm up what we discussed earlier this evening.' I note that Mr Cowie replied on the same date: 'Your offer may have merit and is acknowledged and under discussions with ICC management'.

The controversy flared after Hair and fellow umpire Billy Doctrove imposed a five-run penalty on Pakistan for ball tampering on the final day of the fourth test against England in London last week.

Pakistan subsequently forfeited the game when they refused to take the field after tea in protest at the decision. It was the first forfeiture in test cricket's 129-year history.

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq faces charges of ball tampering and bringing the game into disrepute at an ICC disciplinary meeting on September 15.