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Home > Cricket > Reuters > Report

Australians rally behind sacked Hair

November 05, 2006 16:24 IST

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Australians have responded with a mixture of disbelief and anger to the ICC's decision to ban Darrell Hair from umpiring international matches, labelling it "tragic" and "disgusting".

Players, umpires, officials and media were united in their condemnation of world cricket's ruling body after Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh joined forces to vote him off the elite panel.

"It's disgusting," former Australian Test captain Neil Harvey told the Sunday Telegraph. "He's probably the best around but it shows you the influence of the Asian nations."

Hair's sacking came after Pakistan lodged a complaint over his role in the forfeited Test against England.

Another former Australia Test captain, Bob Simpson, said Hair had been punished for taking a stand on issues which other umpires were unwilling to address.

"It's just a tragedy," Simpson said. "He has shown great courage in making decisions which other umpires are not brave enough to make."

Australian cricket officials pledged their ongoing support for Hair, saying he was welcome to continue his career in the domestic first-class competition.

"Cricket Australia would welcome him back with open arms," CA spokesman Peter Young told the Australian Associated Press. "He is one of the best going around."

Australian captain Ricky Ponting, speaking to reporters in India after being named the ICC's best player of the year, was also disappointed by the decision, saying Hair was popular among players for his tough but fair approach.

"I've always felt he's been a terrific umpire," Ponting said. "I'm surprised by it and disappointed for him."

Australian media said Hair's sacking was proof that the Asian bloc were using their numbers to seize control of world cricket.

"Whether it be chasing the rights to host a World Cup, getting officials in important positions or getting rid of an umpire, the Asian bloc gets what it wants," wrote the Sunday Telegraph's chief cricket Robert Craddock.

"Hair's axing sets a chilling precedent, as other umpires will now be running scared of offending any or all of the four subcontinental nations...who might, at times, loathe each other, but invariably vote together on important issues."

© Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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Number of User Comments: 10

Sub: conspiracy

This is injustice and conspiracy...remember the Australian board selfishly hid the mark waugh / shane warne bribe incident.

Posted by santhosh

Sub: Its not charity

Well cricket was no charity and its no charity even now. It was and is about businness. And the control has shifetd to Asia, like ...

Posted by Anonymous

Sub: Hair Banned - Good News

Its quite funny that all the white nations who were colonisers are now feeling bad that the 4Asian countries are now colonising them almost. I ...

Posted by Shyam

Sub: Who are the panel members?

I am just curious to know who were the panel members that took decision the decision? It is an open vote? meaning, we would know ...

Posted by Mr.Curious

Sub: Colonial hangover seems hard to go.

The report clearly shows how much they hate to see Asian Power rising. This kind of colonial hangover is understandable, but it is the only ...

Posted by Rao



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