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Last Updated: Friday, 25 August 2006, 14:50 GMT 15:50 UK
Umpire offered to resign for cash
Hair inspects the ball with Inzamam-ul-Haq
Hair penalised Pakistan for ball-tampering on Sunday
Umpire Darrell Hair offered to quit in exchange for $500,000 (266,000), the International Cricket Council has said.

The Australian, 53, made his offer in an e-mail to the game's governing body after Sunday's ball-tampering row which ended the fourth Test at The Oval.

ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed told a news conference in London that the umpire had been under great stress.

And he said he was satisfied Hair had not made the offer with any "dishonest, underhand or malicious intent".

Speed added: "He was seeking to find a solution that was in the interests of the game."

Hair and fellow umpire Billy Doctrove penalised the tourists five runs and allowed England to choose a replacement ball after deciding that Pakistan had tampered with the one which had suddenly started reverse-swinging after 56 overs.

ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed
There have been allegations of bias, racism and conspiracy but it is about none of these things

Malcolm Speed

When Pakistan initially refused to re-emerge after tea in protest, the two officials ruled that they had forfeited the game.

Speed urged the media not to question Hair's motives even though he himself was "extremely surprised by the content" of Hair's e-mail on Tuesday to Doug Cowie, the ICC umpires and referees manager, in which he made his offer.

Hair later revoked the message, in which he asked for compensation for loss of future earnings.

The ICC's lawyers advised the organisation to disclose the contents of Hair's message to the Pakistan Cricket Board as they were relevant to the disciplinary case brought against captain Inzamam-ul-Haq.

TMS VIEW
MH

Having informed the PCB, Speed then felt compelled to make the documents public in case they were leaked anyway.

Hair is hoping to continue officiating, saying in a statement: "This correspondence was composed after a very difficult time and was revoked by myself two days later after a period of serious consideration.

"There was no malicious intent behind this communication with the ICC.

"I am anxious that 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."

Pakistan complained about Hair's performances earlier in the series but the Australian has denied being biased against Asian countries.

He is not sacked, he is not suspended, and he has not been charged - I didn't guarantee those positions would be maintained indefinitely

Speed on Hair

He famously reported Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan for having a suspect bowling action in 1995.

Pakistan have already said they do not want him to umpire any of their games in the future.

And Speed refused to offer any assurances about his future in the game.

"Darrell Hair has been in a difficult position since Sunday and as a result of this disclosure that position has been made more difficult," the ICC chief executive said.

"I have said to him that he is not sacked, he is not suspended, and he has not been charged.

"I also said to him that I didn't guarantee that each of those three positions would be maintained indefinitely."

Hair is on the ICC's Elite Panel of umpires, a list which is reviewed on an annual basis.

The affair will be discussed next week at an ICC meeting and former England captain Mike Atherton can see no way back for him.

"Darrell Hair, after these extraordinary letters, finds himself under no charge whatsoever," he said.

"It is hard to see how he can umpire at any future international match. They have made his position untenable now."



SEE ALSO
Full text of Darrell Hair e-mail
25 Aug 06 |  Cricket
Inzamam case off until September
25 Aug 06 |  England
How Hair courts controversy
21 Aug 06 |  England
Rashid Latif column
21 Aug 06 |  England


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