Thursday, March 20, 2008

Umpire Hair vows to be good with players

Darrell Hair says he hopes to communicate better with the players when he returns to international test cricket umpiring after an absence of nearly 18 months.

"I've always been a little bit ... standoffish in that I've always preferred to let them play the game themselves and only get involved when things go overboard,''
Hair told a Sydney radio station Thursday.

Hair, reinstated as a test match umpire this week by the International Cricket Council, had been banned since November 2006 because of his conduct during a test between Pakistan and England that led to the first forfeit in test cricket's 129-year history.

``I won't say my whole attitude to umpiring has changed but I think I have picked up a few things that are going to be very helpful to me in the future,''
he said.
``Probably just ... having a broader understanding of what everybody else is thinking and the old communication issue of making sure that what you say and what you want is understood by the other people.''

His return comes after he completed a so-called ``rehabilitation program'' him handed him in September when he agreed to drop a claim of racial discrimination by the ICC.

Hair accused Pakistan of ball tampering and, when the team refused to take the field after a break, he and fellow umpire Billy Doctrove awarded the forfeit.

The ICC declined to say if the 55-year-old Australian could umpire any match involving Pakistan. Hair's position will be reviewed at the end of March 2009, the ICC said.

On Thursday, Hair said the incident
``caused me a lot of stress. I suppose it caused a lot of people some stress along the way.''

``The laws now have been changed to take those decisions out of the hands of the umpires and I fully support the way that that's going to happen in future,''
he added.
``So, it's time to move on.

Hair said he would be available to umpire in Pakistan.

``Part of my contract is that I'm available now to umpire test matches and one-day internationals,''
Hair said.
``Now whether that (umpiring in Pakistan) is going to happen I think you'll need to ask the people who make the appointments.''

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