Boycott slams Hair for notorious act at The Oval

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Legendary England player Geoffrey Boycott has blasted the behaviour of Australian umpire Darrell Hair during the forfeited Oval Test match between England and Pakistan and its aftermath.

He used his column in The Daily Telegraph to criticize Hair’s decision to penalise Pakistan five-penalty runs for ball-tampering. That decision led Pakistan to protest by refusing to take the field following tea interval on the fourth day and landed captain Inzamam-ul-Haq with charges of ball-tampering and bringing the game into disrepute.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) hearing cleared Inzamam of ball-tampering but banned him for four One-day Internationals (ODIs) for bringing the game into disrepute. Boycott gave evidence in support of Inzamam at the hearing and admits he was dismayed with lack of remorse shown by Hair after the ICC refused to uphold Australian umpire’s view that Pakistan had illegally altered the condition of ball. “Hair is the first man to apply five-run penalty for ball tampering and he got it wrong,” Boycott wrote in his column. “He is also the first man to call a Test match forfeited, and I believe he got that wrong too,” he remarked.

“Darrell Hair was so bullish (at post-hearing press conference), even though the decision had gone against him. He was still acting as though he was not aware of what he’d done,” he maintained. “It astonishes me that he could sit there, with absolutely no sign of contrition, implying he would do same thing again. He seems to have learnt nothing. We are all told when we start cricket as youngsters that the umpire’s decision is final,” he revealed.

“We all accept being given caught behind when we haven’t nicked it or lbw when ball would have missed leg stump. But this is bigger than that - this is huge. It shows umpire is not always right. If he is going to make a huge decision, which affects whole fabric of game, he had better have some evidence to back it up,” he explained.

Boycott believes Hair’s future as an international umpire is bleak unless he changes his attitude. “Hair doesn’t understand his man-management is just not up to scratch,” he said. “He has studied rules of cricket, and insists on his right to interpret them as he sees fit, whether there’s anyone to back him up or not. If he comes back into game, and carries on in same way, there will be more trouble. We don’t want umpires to be allowed to play God like this ever again,” he added.
Source:The News

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