Darrell Hair

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Darrell Hair
Personal information
Full name Darrell Bruce Hair
Born (1952-09-30) 30 September 1952 (age 62)
Mudgee, New South Wales, Australia
Umpiring information
Tests umpired 78 (1992–2008)
ODIs umpired 139 (1991–2008)
T20Is umpired 6 (2008–2008)
Career statistics
Source: ESPNCricinfo, 28 September 2012

Darrell Bruce Hair (born 30 September 1952 in Mudgee, New South Wales)[1] is an Australian former Test match cricket umpire, from New South Wales.[1] He stood on the International panel of umpires from 2002 to 2003, before he, along with fellow Australian Simon Taufel, and New Zealander Billy Bowden, was appointed to the ICC Elite umpire panel. After an ICC board meeting discussed his actions in a Test match between Pakistan and England in 2006 it was decided he should not umpire matches involving the test playing nations. He was restored to the Elite Panel by the ICC on 12 March 2008 and stood in the England v New Zealand tests at Old Trafford in May and Trent Bridge in June 2008. However, he still remains a controversial figure in cricket.


Hair umpired his first Test match in January 1992, between Australia and India in Adelaide. The test was won by Australia and according to the Wisden was "marred … by controversy lbw decisions – eight times Indians were given out, while all but two of their own appeals were rejected". Hair's umpiring partner was Peter McConnell, who was standing in his last Test match.

In the third Test match in early 1994 between Australia and South Africa once again in Adelaide, which Hair umpired along with Terry Prue, controversy again ensued regarding LBW decisions - seven times South Africans were given out (three in the first innings and four in the second) while only once was an Australian given out.[2] This led to South African batsman Peter Kirsten having two run-ins with Hair.[3]

In 1994 the International Cricket Council (ICC) introduced a policy of appointing one umpire to each Test match from a non-participating country, and since 2002 both umpires have been appointed from non-participating nations. Since 2002 the majority of Hair’s Test matches have been played outside Australia, and did not involve Australia. His last Test match involving Australia was against South Africa at Melbourne on 26 December to 29 December 2001. Hair’s colleague was the West Indian umpire, Eddie Nicholls.

At the local level, Hair began his career playing in Orange and Molong and moved to Sydney in 1972 where he played with the Mosman and North Sydney clubs in the Sydney Grade Cricket competition, as a right-arm fast-medium bowler.

No-balling Muralitharan for throwing[edit]

In a 1995 match between Australia and Sri Lanka in Melbourne, he no-balled Muttiah Muralitharan seven times in three overs for throwing.[4] It was the first time Muralitharan had been called in 22 Tests, although the ICC later said that umpires had expressed doubts about his legitimacy for more than two years.[5] Biomechanical investigation of Muralitharan's action conducted at the behest of the ICC concluded that a congenital elbow deformity was partly responsible for his unusual action and his arm remained bent throughout delivery of the ball.[6] After further review by an expert panel, the ICC decided to raise the elbow extension limit to 15 degrees for all bowlers. In 1999 Hair was found guilty by the ICC of bringing the game into disrepute after he described Muralitharan's action as "diabolical".[7] Hair later received death threats that referenced the throwing incident and as a result the ICC decreed that he would not officiate any of Sri Lankas matches at the 1999 World Cup.[7] In 2011, Hair is still saying that Muralitharan's bowling action is suspect.[8]

2006 ball tampering incident[edit]

On the fourth day of the fourth Test between England and Pakistan at The Oval, Hair and fellow umpire Billy Doctrove ruled that the Pakistani team had been involved in ball tampering. They awarded five penalty runs to England and offered them a replacement ball. In protest the Pakistani players refused to take the field after the tea break.[9] After 30 minutes the umpires removed the bails, declared England winners by forfeiture. The Pakistani team took the field 25 minutes later, but the umpires stated that the game had ended the moment the bails were removed. The Test was abandoned and the match awarded to England.[10] The ICC, ECB and PCB later affirmed that the decision to award the match to England was in accordance with the laws of cricket.[11] Former cricketers Michael Atherton, Nasser Hussain, Imran Khan and Wasim Akram criticised Hair for ending the game.[10][12][13] Steve Waugh backed the umpires' decision, saying "No-one is bigger than the game. The laws are there for a reason."[14]

In an e-mail to the ICC Hair wrote that he would resign from the ICC Elite Umpire Panel in return for a non-negotiable one-off payment of US$500,000 directly into his bank account. Hair wrote that the payment was to compensate for the loss of future earnings and retainer payments.[15] On 27 August, Hair stated that he had been in negotiations with the ICC prior to him sending the email,[16] a statement denied by the ICC.[17][18] Hair subsequently revoked the offer[19] and in a press conference on 28 September 2006 reiterated that he never considered retirement.[20]

On 28 September, Inzamam was acquitted of the ball tampering charge,[21] but received a ban from four one day internationals for bringing the game into disrepute.[22][23] The ICC-appointed match officials (Hair, Doctrove, Jesty, Cowie, Procter, and Peter Hartley) remained of the opinion that markings on the ball indicated tampering.[21] At a press conference after the hearing the ICC announced that Hair would not be umpiring at the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy because of security concerns.[24] On 4 November 2006, Hair was banned from officiating in international matches by the ICC following a two-day meeting held by the ICC.[25] Malcolm Speed, CEO of the ICC, stated that there is "no issue" with the result of the Oval Test match.[25]

The decision to ban Hair was met with praise from the Pakistani board, who had previously called for Hair to be sacked.[26] Javed Miandad said that the move by the ICC sets an example to other umpires[26] and Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar also supported the decision.[27] Former Sri Lankan captain, Arjuna Ranatunga, welcomed the decision saying that "Hair had a prejudice against Asian teams. I am happy that he is finally out".[28] Ricky Ponting said he was surprised by the ICC's move to ban Hair[29] and Cricket Australia demanded the ICC explain the reasons for Hair being stood down.[30][31] At the time, Hair had not ruled out taking legal action after the decision.[32] Billy Doctrove, the other umpire during the Oval Test, is unaffected by the ICC's ban on Hair,[25] though he was also overlooked for the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy.[33] In the aftermath of the Oval incident Hair was voted Umpire of the Season in a poll carried out by The Wisden Cricketer.[34] A leaked ICC report showed that before the Oval incident, Hair was ranked the second-best umpire overall and number one in decision-making.[35]

In February 2007 Hair announced he was suing the ICC and the Pakistan Cricket Board on grounds of racial discrimination. Hair said that he was made a scapegoat when he was barred from officiating Test matches after the forfeited Oval Test, as no action was taken against Billy Doctrove.[36] In response, Naseem Ashraf, chairman of the PCB, said "Mr Hair was removed from the ICC panel of umpires because of his bad umpiring and his poor judgement."[37] On 9 October 2007, Hair dropped his discrimination case. The ICC said Hair would undergo a development programme over the next six months seemingly with the goal to place him back into top level matches. During this six-month period he will continue to officiate in second tier ICC associate matches. The ICC restored Hair to the Elite Umpiring Panel on 12 March 2008.[38] On 22 August 2008 Hair handed in his resignation to the ICC in order to take up a coaching role.[39] He had been an international umpire for 16 years.

International umpiring statistics[edit]

First Last Total
Test Australia v India at Adelaide, Jan 1992 England v New Zealand at Trent Bridge, Jun 2008 78
ODI India v West Indies at Adelaide, Dec 1991 Ireland v Scotland at Belfast, Jul 2007 139
T20I Kenya v Netherlands at Belfast, Aug 2008 Ireland v Netherlands at Belfast, Aug 2008 6

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Cricinfo - Players and Officials - Darrell Hair". Content-usa.cricinfo.com. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  2. ^ http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63630.html
  3. ^ http://www.espncricinfo.com/wisdenalmanack/content/story/153226.html
  4. ^ Britten, Nick (27 August 2006). "Hair is a man who stands his ground". The Age (Melbourne). 
  5. ^ "Wisden - The Sri Lankans in Australia, 1995-96". Espncricinfo.com. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  6. ^ Lloyd DG; Alderson J; Elliott BC. (December 2000). "An upper limb kinematic model for the examination of cricket bowling: a case study of Mutiah Muralitharan". J Sports Sci. pp. 975–82. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  7. ^ a b "Umpire 'received death threats'". BBC News. 12 May 1999. 
  8. ^ Ransom, Ian (5 March 2011). "Cricket-WC umpires know Muralitharan's action suspect - Hair". Reuters. 
  9. ^ "Pakistan muzzled in tampering row". BBC Sport (BBC). 4 September 2006. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Cricinfo - As the chaos unfolded". Cricinfo. 20 August 2006. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "Test farce amid tampering fracas". Sydney Morning Herald. 21 August 2006. 
  12. ^ "Cricinfo - Former Pakistani players back Inzamam". Content-usa.cricinfo.com. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  13. ^ Samiuddin, Osman (22 August 2006). "Mini Hitler taunts in Pakistan - and bruises for Inzi". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  14. ^ "Waugh backs the umpires". Fox Sports. 22 August 2006. 
  15. ^ "Umpire offered to resign for cash". BBC News. 25 August 2006. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  16. ^ "ICC asked me to make offer: Hair". Sydney Morning Herald. 28 August 2006. 
  17. ^ "Cricinfo - Hair hits back at the ICC". Content-uk.cricinfo.com. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  18. ^ "''The Independent Online'' - Hair says ICC encouraged his $500,000 offer to resign". Sport.independent.co.uk. 2014-03-19. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  19. ^ "Cricinfo - Full transcript of emails". Content-uk.cricinfo.com. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  20. ^ "Cricinfo - Hair never considered retirement". Wayback.archive.org. 2008-01-11. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  21. ^ a b "Ranjan Mudagalle's decision in full". Cricinfo. 28 September 2006. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  22. ^ "'Inzamam cleared of ball tampering'". CricInfo. 28 September 2006. 
  23. ^ "'Disrepute ban for skipper Inzamam'". BBC. 28 September 2006. 
  24. ^ "Hair out of Champions Trophy'". DNA Sport. 28 September 2006. 
  25. ^ a b c Siddhartha Vaidyanathan (4 November 2006). "Hair banned from officiating in internationals". Cricinfo.com. Retrieved 5 November 2006. 
  26. ^ a b 4 November 2006 at 03:15pm (2006-11-04). "Pakistan praise ICC for Hair removal". IOL. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  27. ^ Archived March 20, 2012 at the Wayback Machine[dead link]
  28. ^ Archived January 11, 2008 at the Wayback Machine[dead link]
  29. ^ "Pakistan celebrate Hair decision". BBC News. 5 November 2006. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  30. ^ Conn, Malcolm (7 November 2006). "CA condemns Hair sacking". The Australian. 
  31. ^ "SuperCricket". SuperCricket. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  32. ^ "Sportal - Sports News - Live Scores - Australian Sport". sportal.com.au. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  33. ^ "HOW THE DRAMA UNFOLDED | Sporting Life - Cricket News | Live Cricket Scores, New Zealand v England, CB Series, Live Coverage & Stats". Wayback.archive.org. 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  34. ^ "Cricinfo - Hair voted Umpire of the Year". Content-uk.cricinfo.com. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  35. ^ "Cricinfo - Hair praised by ICC immediately before being sacked". Content-uk.cricinfo.com. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  36. ^ "Hair to sue cricket authorities". bbc.co.uk. 7 February 2007. Retrieved 7 February 2007. 
  37. ^ "Hair sues cricket boards for 'racial discrimination'. 08/02/2007. ABC News Online". Wayback.archive.org. 2008-01-12. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  38. ^ Hair restored as ICC elite umpire BBC News retrieved 12 March 2008
  39. ^ "Hair quits to focus on coaching". Content-uk.cricinfo.com. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 


  • Hair, Darrell (1998) Decision Maker: An Umpire's Story Random House, Australia. ISBN 0-09-183731-6

External links[edit]