So the news came through this morning, from our good friends in Kenya no less, that Darrell Hair, the Australian umpire, will officiate in next week’s tri-series. This caused no end of confusion.
He was banned from umpiring in internationals in November – but only from matches involving Full Member sides. He is perfectly entitled to umpire matches between the Associates – in spite of the ICC’s executive board stating in November that they have “come to the conclusion that they’ve lost confidence in Mr Hair”. I’m not the only one who tripped over this inexplicable condition.
What message does this send to the Associates? Do the ICC not feel they deserve anyone better than a banned umpire? Why ban him for some one-dayers and not others? This tri-series has been awarded official ODI status so there is no doubt (or at least there shouldn’t be) that the ICC are taking the series seriously, as they should. Why, then, is he allowed to umpire the Associates but not Full Member sides? It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. It’s like firing someone from their job for incompetence but letting them share the tea duties. Well, not quite, but you get my drift.
Martin Williamson has written a thorough and accurate comment which is worth a read. And if you can make sense of the whole fiasco, leave a comment.