Sensationalist headline, apologies for that. How about I improve it with the news that the BCCI are acting like a soothing, herbal shampoo for Darrell; that’s right, the India board have stated their allegiance to the ICC, not Pakistan.
This has many implications, some of them a little worrying; others rather amusing; most utterly fascinating. In short….had India agreed to Pakistan’s stance (and Sri Lanka’s too) on refusing to play in any matches Hair officiates in, the umpire’s career would be over. And that would’ve been the very start of the problems.
I stuck up the full fart in all its wafty glory on Cricinfo:
“We would never say no to any umpire that the ICC supported,” Shah told the Sydney Morning Herald. “If the ICC is happy with [Hair], then we are happy. Let us see a report first, and if Mr Hair has made a mistake, then we will see what happens. But it is up to the ICC to take action.”
Were India to side with the ICC and not Pakistan, a potentially disastrous situation would be avoided. Given Hair’s history – he has courted controversy with Pakistan in the past, as well as Sri Lanka – it is unlikely he will ever umpire games involving either of those two countries. And if India were to be added to that list, his role as an elite international umpire would be reduced to officiating in only half the international sides. Hair also cannot stand in matches involving Australia, his birthplace.
“If the Asian bloc gangs up on him and says, ‘We don’t want him appointed in our games’, there might be trouble,” Dick French, a former umpire and Hair’s mentor, told AAP. “He can’t umpire Australia as a neutral, so he can’t then just umpire South Africa, West Indies and England for the rest of his career. So that’s a tough one for the authorities.”