Apologetic Hair pulled out of reserve fixture
by AFP

Ground:Kennington Oval, Kennington
Scorecard:England v Pakistan
Player:DB Hair, Inzamam-ul-Haq
Event:Pakistan in British Isles 2006

DateLine: 29th August 2006


Darrell Hair has apologised for the e-mail he sent offering to resign as an umpire in exchange for 500,000 dollars after the ball-tampering row which cut short the fourth Test between England and Pakistan at The Oval.


The apology came as, in a separate move, the Australian was withdrawn from standing in an English 2nd XI Championship fixture by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).


"I wish to apologise to all of my family, friends and supporters because I somehow feel that I may have let them down simply by sending an ill-advised but entirely confidential e-mail," Hair, who later rescinded his offer, was quoted in Tuesday's edition of Britain's The Times newspaper as saying.


"This has given other people the opportunity to question my motives," he added.


Hair, who now lives in England, was due to umpire a 2nd XI Championship match between Derbyshire and Gloucestershire at Chesterfield starting Wednesday.


However, the ECB's umpires and operations manager, Chris Kelly, told AFP in Bristol via telephone Tuesday that Hair would no longer be officiating in that match.


"It's an inappropriate time for him to do the match with what's going on. There are lots and lots of issues," Kelly said.


On Monday, the International Cricket Council (ICC) - which made Hair's email correspondence with it public last Friday - announced it had cancelled an emergency board meeting schedule to take place at its Dubai headquarters this Saturday.


The meeting had been called following Pakistan's fourth day forfeit at The Oval, a decision that saw England awarded a victory that saw them claim the four-match series 3-0.


The tourists refused to take the field at the south London ground a week last Sunday having earlier been penalised five runs for ball-tampering by umpires Hair and West Indian colleague Billy Doctrove - a move that led to the first forfeit in 129 years of Test cricket.


Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq was then charged with ball tampering and bringing the game into disrepute, throwing the future of his team's tour of England into doubt.


Both Inzamam's case, still to be heard, and Hair's future as an umpire were set to be discussed at the meeting which had led to speculation over whether the board had the power to throw out the case against Inzamam.


"The original intention was to seek legal advice concerning the executive board's powers but I do not believe it is necessary to obtain that advice," ICC president Percy Sonn said in a statement Monday.


"We have processes in place to deal with code of conduct matters and we should not seek to interfere with it," the South African added.


Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Shaharyar Khan said: "We understand the need for the hearing to go ahead for the reasons explained by the ICC President Mr Sonn."


The date for Inzamam's hearing will be confirmed in due course but it is likely to be in the second half of September, the ICC statement added.


It was originally scheduled to take place in London last Friday but was postponed because ICC chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle was unable to hear the case because of family illness.


Inzamam, if found guilty, could face a ban that would force him to miss October's ICC Champions Trophy one-day tournament in India.


Pakistan returned to cricket action with a five-wicket victory in their first Twenty20 international, against England, at Bristol on Monday.


The teams are scheduled to begin a five-match one-day series Wednesday with a day/night contest in Cardiff.

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)


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