Australian Darrell Hair has been recalled to the International Cricket Council's elite panel of umpires.
The saga began when Pakistan were penalised for ball-tampeing
Hair has not officiated in a major match since the infamous Oval Test in 2006, when Pakistan refused to continue amid suggestions of ball-tampering.
The 55-year-old was subsequently dropped from the panel.
He began a racial discrimination claim against cricket's governing body but dropped the case and has since been on an ICC rehabilitation programme.
One of cricket's most controversial incidents began when Pakistan were penalised five runs and England were allowed to select a different ball in the fourth and final Test of the 2006 Test series.
Pakistan were incensed, and when they refused to return to the field after the tea interval, Hair and fellow official Billy Doctrove awarded the match to England, the first forfeit in Test cricket history.
The matter was then examined at an ICC hearing in London.
Inzamam-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, was cleared of ball-tampering charges but was suspended for four one-day internationals after being found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute.
Pakistan refused to take part in matches in which Hair was officiating, claiming he was biased against teams from the sub-continent.
Hair remained contracted to the ICC but he was not chosen for international matches involving Test nations, instead taking charge of a match between Kenya and Scotland.
Having resided in England for several years, Hair was offered the chance to officiate in domestic county matches by the England and Wales Cricket Board, but declined.
Hair officiated in matches between non-Test nations during 2007
Hair, who umpired the first of his 135 one-day internationals in December 1991 and the first of 76 Test matches in January 1992, will now be available to resume as an official in both forms of the game at international level.
ICC president-elect David Morgan confirmed that the decision had been a unanimous one.
"Darrell Hair is a good, competent umpire and his position will be reviewed after March 31, 2009 as is the case with other umpires at the end of their contracts," he added.
An spokesman told the BBC that there would be no restrictions on Hair's reinstatement, meaning that he could conceivably umpire a Pakistan match.
"It's a matter for the selection committee to decide what matches he umpires," he said.
Our board should never have backed down on this issue
Former Pakistan Cricket Board chief Shahayar Khan was far from happy with the return, however, and said: "This is shocking news.
"He should never have been reinstated after committing so
many gross irregularities during the Oval Test.
"The ICC board decided beyond doubt Hair's conduct was not
up to the mark. This man violated his responsibilities as a
senior umpire. How the ICC can restore him is hard to
And former skipper Inzamam lamented: "Our board should never have backed down on this issue."
BBC reporter Pat Murphy observed: "Darrell Hair will be entitled to deep satisfaction at this verdict, not least of all because his marks have always been among the top three umpires in world cricket during his time as an international umpire.
"There was never any doubt about his quality as an umpire and his decision making. It was more, in the eyes of some of the Asian countries, his attitude.
"Darrell Hair took the brunt of all that and he has been vindicated both in terms of his decision making in that Test match and also in terms of his overall competence as being an international umpire again."