Hair mellows down in second stint
Australian umpire Darrell Hair makes a comeback with a new philosophy that "good umpires do let players know the reasons for a particular decision".Updated: May 21, 2008, 19:12 IST
Australian umpire Darrell Hair, infamous for his bullying ways before he received a setback in the Oval controversy in 2006, seems to have mellowed down on his return with a new philosophy that "good umpires do let players know the reasons for a particular decision".
Hair had penalised 5 runs to Pakistan team on the charges of ball tempering and then forfeited the match in favour of England at the Oval without explaining his decision to then captain Inzamam-ul Haq.
The Australian, set to make a comeback to the ICC's elite panel of umpires at Old Trafford for England v New Zealand match on Friday, earlier saw no need to explain his decisions, believing that to do so would undermine his authority, but now he is ready to communicate.
"What happens at international level is that you are purely judged on the number of correct decisions you make. I suppose one of the things that you focus on too much is trying to get things right and how other people are going to perceive your decisions if you make a mistake," Hair said.
"There's a lot of things we learned in the past and one of them was never (to) discuss your decisions or anything like that with players, but I think it's important that good umpires do let players know the reasons for a particular decision," he was quoted as saying by 'The Guardian'.
Hair admitted his confidence had shaken by the Oval row but asserted his umpiring ability were still sharp despite the lay-off.
"It was a bit difficult to focus at first. (But) The only thing that could change that is a lack of confidence because I haven't been out there for a while," Hair said.
"I'm confident I'll be able to make the majority of correct decisions. If that turns out to be otherwise, then I'd probably need to look at if I am still capable of umpiring at an international level," he added.
During his suspension, Hair mentored fellow umpires in his native New South Wales in Australia, which he said helped his recovery.
"Ever since my career first started I've been doing things in the opposite direction - learning during play rather than being totally prepared beforehand and understanding other people's needs.
"But setting up a mentor system meant that everyone could learn from each other. Being a mentor means you learn a lot yourself. It teaches you how to handle and deal with other people."
Hair also said the umpiring was a difficult job and put a lot of pressure on an individual.
"The intensity of scrutiny on umpiring decisions and a lack of understanding as to how difficult the job is. I think people need to take into account more the difficulty of particular matches.
"Some matches are more difficult than others and there's no doubt about that. Anybody who says they don't feel the pressure is probably lying."