Cricket News

Ranatunga wants Hair to umpire all matches

Australian umpire Darrell Hair shows sign of six during the ICC World Cricket League match between Scotland and Kenya in the capital Nairobi February 7, 2007. REUTERS/Antony Njuguna

KARACHI (Reuters) - Controversial Australian Darrell Hair should be allowed to umpire all international matches, Sri Lankan Cricket Board chairman Arjuna Ranatunga said on Thursday.

Hair, who has fallen out with Sri Lanka and Pakistan during his career, was reinstated as a test and one-day umpire by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday.

The 55-year-old had been dropped from the ICC’s elite umpires’ panel for his role in the Oval test between England and Pakistan in August 2006.

“At the ICC meeting (in Dubai this week) we mentioned our concerns about the Darrell Hair issue,” former Sri Lanka captain Ranatunga told Geo television in Lahore.

“But the important factor is if he is eligible to umpire I think he should do all matches featuring India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, otherwise he won’t be tested.”

Hair called Sri Lanka’s record breaking off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan for “throwing” in 1995.

Pakistan became the first team to forfeit a test when they refused to return to the field after tea on the fourth day of the fourth test at the Oval because they had been penalised five runs for alleged ball tampering.

“I just hope the ICC realises the potentially explosive situation it could create by posting Hair for any matches involving Pakistan,” Shaharyar Khan, head of the Pakistan Cricket Board at the time of the Oval test, told Reuters.

Editing by Tony Jimenez