Controversial umpire who targetted Asian cricketers ‘out’

MUMBAI, India, Nov 4 (AFP) – The International Cricket Council confirmed on Saturday it had removed controversial Australian umpire Darrell Hair from the elite world panel following a ball-tampering row with Pakistan. Hair, a veteran of 76 Tests, first stood in first-class cricket in 1988-1989, having previously been a fast bowler for North Sydney and Mosman in the Sydney grade club competition. “The Executive Board has decided it has lost confidence in the umpire,” ICC president Percy Sonn of South Africa told reporters at the conclusion of the two-day Board meeting here.

Hair, 56, whose contract with the ICC runs till March 2008, had been informed of the decision to remove him on Friday night, ICC chief executive officer Malcolm Speed of Australia added.

“I spoke to Darrell last night and he was very disappointed to hear that he will no longer stand as an international umpire,” said Speed.

“The ICC will discuss Hair’s future with him in due course.”

Sonn, asked if Hair may take the ICC to court for terminating his contract early, said: “We have an in-house team of lawyers and they had been consulted before the decision was taken.

Both Sonn and Speed declined to take further questions on whet