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Hair out of Champions Trophy

Following BCCI's demand, the ICC has left out controversial Oz umpire due to "security concerns". Share your views...

india Updated: Oct 09, 2006 14:35 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Controversial Australian umpire Darrell Hair will not officiate in the Champions Trophy in India next month, the International Cricket Council announced on Thursday.

After weeks of speculation on whether Hair would be included in the umpires' panel for Champions Trophy in the wake of the Oval Test fiasco, ICC said Hair had been left out due to "safety and security concerns".

Tournament hosts India had demanded on Tuesday that the ICC omit Hair as his presence might provoke spectators.

The ICC announcement came after a disciplinary hearing found Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul Haq "not guilty" of ball tampering, a charge laid by Hair during the Oval Test.

An indignant Hair said he wished to continue on with umpiring seconds after an ICC spokesman revealed that he had been withdrawn from the Champions Trophy.

"I wish to keep on being an umpire," Hair said. "My umpiring performance or career is on public record and if other people consider I am still good enough to umpire I will continue."

Hair denied that he felt he had been made a scapegoat over the issue by the ICC.

"I think the last few weeks have been quite trying on everybody," he said. "The Code of Conduct is there to be applied, it's been applied, I'm bound my own code of conduct but it's good to have it over."

With regards to his offer to resign in the aftermath of the Oval row, Hair admitted that "it may well have been an ill-advised thing to do at the time, I think I've already admitted that."

But he took a swipe at the ICC's decision to make the letters public. "I believe (such things) should remain confidential. We learn lots of things from the things we do in life. I still believe that those matters should be kept confidential. It's something that's part of the ICC Code of Conduct hearing and I've explained why I can't discuss that."

Asked if the decision to penalise Pakistan was wrong, he said, "my contract at the ICC clearly states that I must umpire to the best of my ability ... All I will say is I'm out there doing my best. I'm not here to defend any decision. I umpire matches in good faith. I do it to the best of my ability."

"I've umpired since 1985 and from the day I started umpiring my career was in the hands of other people. People make assessments on my career on a ball by ball basis. If other people who have always made those decisions consider I'm good enough to still umpire, I will continue."

He also brushed aside suggestions that he had effectively put himself out of the equation for umpiring some countries. "That will be up to other people to decide whether it has damaged my relationship with any other team around the world."

First Published: Sep 28, 2006 21:55 IST