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Last Updated: Monday, 28 August 2006, 14:36 GMT 15:36 UK
ICC calls off umpire row meeting
Darrell Hair's e-mail to Doug Cowie
Hair offered to resign in an e-mail to his boss, Doug Cowie
The International Cricket Council has cancelled a board meeting about the controversial end of the England v Pakistan Test at The Oval.

It was thought officials would also discuss the position of Darrell Hair, the umpire at the centre of the row.

The meeting was due to take place in Dubai next weekend.

But ICC president Percy Sonn said it was now clear the directors already had an "understanding" of the issues and a meeting was not therefore necessary.

It was thought the executive board would also have discussed whether they had the power to over-rule the umpires decision to forfeit the Test.

But Sonn said: "There has been much speculation over the past few days about whether the executive board has the power to overturn a properly-laid charge by the umpires.

"That speculation would only be bound to intensify ahead of the weekend and so, by cancelling the meeting, it will allow everyone to get off that particular topic and focus on the cricket to be played this week instead.

"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 - we have processes in place to deal with code of conduct matters and we should not seek to interfere with it."

The controversy began when Hair and fellow umpire Billy Doctrove imposed a five-run penalty against Pakistan for allegedly tampering with the ball.

Inzamam-ul-Haq warms up at Bristol
Inzamam was back in action in Thursday's Twenty20 game

The tourists initially stayed in their dressing room after tea on the fourth afternoon in protest and the game was awarded to England by forfeit.

Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq was later charged with bringing the game into disrepute and ball-tampering because he is deemed responsible for the actions of his players.

The hearing of the charges against Inzamam is due to take place in the last two weeks in September, but the exact date has yet to be confirmed.

As far as Hair is concerned, however, the onus is now on the Pakistan Cricket Board to bring a charge against him under the provisions of umpires' Code of Conduct, should they wish to do so.

Following the Oval Test, Hair e-mailed umpire' boss Doug Cowie and expressed a willingness to resign in return for a payment of $500,000 but subsequently withdrew the offer.

In a statement on Monday, Hair said: "During an extended conversation with Mr Cowie, I was invited to make a written offer. The figure in the e-mail correspondence was in line with those canvassed with the ICC.

"I would have thought that it was quite apparent from the text of correspondence that I had been in discussions with ICC about the issue."



SEE ALSO
Hair 'could stay' as Test umpire
26 Aug 06 |  Cricket
Team vindicated, Pakistanis say
26 Aug 06 |  South Asia
Full text of Darrell Hair e-mail
25 Aug 06 |  Cricket
How Hair courts controversy
21 Aug 06 |  England


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