Why split hairs over Darrel Hair
International Cricket Council and Australian elite umpire Darrel Hair
has been accused, convicted and condemned, even before an inquiry has
been held and the outcome known.
I am not holding a brief for anyone. Not for the Pakistanis, the
umpires Darrel Hair or Billy Doctrove, the West Indian or the ICC. In
the same breath I am not taking the three to task.
From the looks of it and what has been appearing in the media,
surprisingly Hair has been singled out for a bashing, while the critics
have gone soft on Doctrove.
Now that the controversial issue of alleged ball tampering by
Pakistan is burning like a furnace and with more oil being poured into
it, it is not my intention to fan it, but to plead with those concerned,
not to sit in judgement, but to wait for the all-important inquiry to be
held and the result known.
It is accepted that even a criminal is not guilty, until his guilt is
proven. So let it remain that way. As usual there will always be two
sides to a story and critics will join in, tossing their two cents
It is best for those involved not to read seriously into what is
appearing. The man who would be the cynosure of all eyes in the coming
days will be Sri Lanka's own Ranjan Madugalle.
Madugalle who has been an example as a match referee and that is why
he was made the chief of match referees which is a great honour to Sri
Lanka, has not been available to conduct the inquiry due to good
The International Cricket Council must show that they are the ones in
charge and that they are supreme and act that way and not be swayed on
The ICC, although they came out in poor light when the South Africans
pulled out of the triangular between Sri Lanka and India citing security
concerns, must now see that the game goes on and the Pakistanis honour
their remaining fixtures. And in that they have a duty by the
cricketers, the game and all those who have plonked money for the
Having a back up plan to invite a Rest of the World XI is in bad form
and poor thinking.
Now that the inquiry is going to take time, the ICC must not rush to
panic stations, but wait for the Madugalle findings. Madugalle's every
aspect is impeccable and all sides could stay confident that he will
deliver a just verdict and not leave room for the factions to be at war
and drag the game to the mire.
Whatever the outcome the warring parties are sure to seek legal
action, unless a verdict acceptable to all is arrived at from the looks
of it Hair and Doctrove were only doing their job.
They felt that there was something fishy going on - the alleged ball
tampering and so they realised that they were duty bound to act. Which
they did and had the guts to stand by their courage and conviction. The
issue seems set to split the game right at the seams. For the good of
the game I hope that this does not happen, because the healing of the
wounds would not be that easy.
But what is intriguing in this whole happening comes the news that
umpire Hair had asked for US$ 500,000 to quit his job. Now that is
ransom and unacceptable.
The question is: Did this demand come from the bat of Hair, or was he
forced or coaxed to act in this irresponsible and unacceptable manner.
Hair must tell it all and come clean.
In the coming weeks there will be a lot of manouvering from the sides
concerned and it would be interesting to watch the episodes unfolding.
The International Cricket Council must show that it is they who are in
charge and supreme and fearlessly act on the final findings.
As for me now that the ICC has gone public with the demand for
dollars made by Hair, it will be him who will be the sacrificial lamb
and be a lesson to other umpires to act the robot.