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ICC confirm Pakistan Hair inquiry request
by AFP


Ground:Kennington Oval, Kennington
Scorecard:England v Pakistan
Player:DB Hair, Inzamam-ul-Haq
Event:Pakistan in British Isles 2006

DateLine: 30th August 2006

 

The International Cricket Council confirmed Tuesday they had received a request from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to hold an inquiry into the conduct of Darrell Hair regarding the Australian umpire's role in the ball-tampering row which helped end the fourth Test against England.

 

An ICC spokesman told AFP in Cardiff via telephone that PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan had written to the global governing body asking that Hair's conduct be "thoroughly investigated" and that such an inquiry should take place before disciplinary charges against Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq were heard.

 

Pakistan refused to take the field after tea on the fourth day at The Oval a week last Sunday in protest at being earlier penalised five runs for ball-tampering by Hair and West Indian umpire Billy Doctrove.

 

That move led to the first forfeit in 129 years of Test cricket and an England win which gave the hosts a 3-0 series victory.

 

Inzamam, as captain, was subsequently charged with ball tampering and bringing the game into disrepute.

 

Both the ICC and the PCB stressed that this latest development did not mean the launch of formal disciplinary action against the 53-year-old Hair.

 

"We are not pressing any charges, we are simply requesting that Mr Hair should be investigated," Shaharyar said.

 

Earlier on Tuesday Hair, who now lives in Lincoln, central England, was removed from standing in an English 2nd XI Championship match by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

 

Hair is on the ECB's reserve list of officials and aims to stand in county championship matches next season.

 

But the furore surrounding what went on at The Oval on August 20 have led him to be withdrawn from the 2nd XI Championship match between Derbyshire and Gloucestershire at Chesterfield starting on Wednesday.

 

"It's an inappropriate time for him to do the match with what's going on," said the ECB's umpires and operations manager Chris Kelly. "There are lots and lots of issues."

 

Shaharyar, in the immediate aftermath of events in south London, had already asked ICC that Hair be barred from standing in any future Pakistan matches.

 

But the ongoing row took a dramatic new twist Friday when the ICC revealed that Hair had offered to resign as an umpire in exchange for 500,000 dollars.

 

Hair, who was unhappy with the decision to publish what he believed were confidential e-mails, later said he'd been encouraged to put his offer in writing by the ICC - something ICC chiefs have denied.

 

Nevertheless Hair, who later rescinded his offer, apologised on Tuesday for his e-mail.

 

"I wish to apologise to all of my family, friends and supporters because I somehow feel that I may have let them down simply by sending an ill-advised but entirely confidential e-mail.

 

"This has given other people the opportunity to question my motives," he added.

 

However, the experienced umpire said he'd been buoyed by the backing he'd received. "I firstly want to thank my friends and family for their support.

 

"In addition, I want to thank so many supporters from around the world, for their support in huge numbers.

 

"I am both stunned and gratified by those messages from people I've never even met."

 

Hair's difference of opinion with the ICC, his employers, will have done little to strengthen his position although he remains a member of their elite panel of umpires.

 

He is still down to officiate in the Champions Trophy one-day tournament in October but the PCB's latest move is bound to lead to further calls for him to be withdrawn from the 'mini World Cup' event in India.

 

Inzamam's case, due to be heard last Friday but postponed because of the unavailability of ICC chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle, is now due to be considered in late September.

 

On Monday the ICC cancelled a board meeting, which would have discussed events at The Oval, scheduled to take place at its Dubai headquarters this Saturday saying that its standard disciplinary procedures should be allowed to run their course instead.

 

Pakistan returned to action with a five-wicket win in their inaugural Twenty20 international, against England at Bristol on Monday.

 

The teams are due to begin a five-match one-day series with a day/night fixture at Cardiff on Wednesday where Doctrove is scheduled to be one of the on-field umpires.

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)



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