Hair to officiate in Champions Trophy
The Australian umpire is still seen as "a safe bet" by ICC to stand during the Champions Trophy matches. Hair-splitting over uncut nails!Updated: Oct 03, 2006 21:48 IST
The Oval fiasco notwithstanding, controversial umpire Darrell Hair is still seen as "a safe bet" by the International Cricket Council to officiate matches in the Champions Trophy beginning in India next month.
Hair's international career came under cloud after his decision to penalise Pakistan for ball tampering which lead to first forfeiture in the 129-year history of Test cricket.
Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq was subsequetly charged for ball tampering and bringing the game into disrepute. He will appear for a disciplinary hearing in London on September 27 and 28.
The ICC, slated to announce this week its officials for the Champions Trophy, may appoint the Australian as one of its umpires for the high-profile tournament.
"He is still regarded as one of our best umpires. It's a safe bet that he'll be there (for the Champions Trophy)," an ICC source was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.
However, if Hair is named on the umpiring panel for the event, the ICC would have to decide whether to allow him to stand in matches involving Pakistan or Sri Lanka given his controversial decisions against their players.
In the past, Hair had also called Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan for chucking.
Meanwhile, Hair confirmed that he was set to travel to the sub-continent and looking forward to the limited-overs tournament, also billed as a mini World Cup.
"Yes, I am down to umpire in the Champions Trophy and I expect to fulfill that appointment," Hair was quoted as saying by The Courier Mail.
"I'm not sure what matches I'll be doing but I'll leave for India and I'm looking forward to it," he said.
In case Hair is included in the panel, it may anger the Pakistan Cricket Board who have refused to play in any matches involving the Australian, but their pull-out seems unlikely given that the PCB would be financially crippled by the fine in millions of dollars for violating the Future Tours Programme agreement.
First Published: Sep 20, 2006 13:31 IST