Sunday, August 27, 2006

Umpire Hair breaks silence

Darrell Hair said his decision to ask for $500,000 to quit his role as an umpire following the Pakistan ball-tampering furore is not a panic reaction to events at the Oval last week.

Hair has been heavily criticised since the International Cricket Council (ICC) revealed details of an email he sent to officials requesting a one-off payment in return for quitting their elite panel of umpires after the row.

"It wasn't a spur of the moment thing. I didn't do it off the cuff," Hair told Australia's Sunday Mail.

But Hair, who has been vilified in Pakistan's media over his decision and a perceived bias against Asian teams, said he meant no harm with the shock offer to stand down revealed on Friday.

"This correspondence was composed at a very difficult time and was revoked by myself after a period of serious consideration," he said in a statement. "There was no malicious intent behind this communication with the ICC. I am anxious the code of conduct hearing takes place as soon as possible so these matters can be resolved and allow me to move on with my umpiring."

Hair insisted his request had fallen on some sympathetic ears before he retracted it following an intervention from ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed.

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