Darrell Hair cuts loose on ICC

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DARRELL Hair has accused senior world cricket officials of trying to destroy his life as the game's great ball tampering scandal lingers.

The saga of the aborted Test between England and Pakistan at The Oval in 2006 took another twist at the weekend when the International Cricket Council, at a meeting in Perth, handed the Test to England, changing its bizarre ruling last July to make it a draw.

The verdict was seen as vindication of the initial decision of Hair and fellow umpire Billy Doctrove to declare England victors by forfeit after Pakistan declined to emerge after tea on the fourth day when their bowlers had been accused of ball tampering.

Hair, retired from international umpiring and working as an umpires manager with NSW Cricket, was briefly banned from umpiring international matches by the ICC before returning last year.

"They tried to destroy my life," Hair said last night.

"After the ICC made the decision (to ban him) several ICC officials set out to make a real meal of it and make life very tough for me.

"I know for a fact that several senior ICC officials, when they saw the ball, agreed with my thoughts that it had been scratched. Yet some of those people, when the board made their decision, set out to get me.

"I felt the gun was loaded by the ICC board, and (cricket manager) Dave Richardson and (chief executive) Malcolm Speed were only too happy to pull the trigger.

"People who were sitting on the ICC board when they initially changed the decision (to call the match a draw) should stand down or be sacked.

"There was a lot of support for me from around the world but unfortunately none of the people who worked at the ICC were among them. I am dirty on the fact that none of the people who worked there backed me up.

"There is no doubt at all the ball was scratched. Yet a match referee (Ranjun Madugalle) who wasn't at the game at the time, held a meeting five weeks later and arrived at a ruling he had no right to find."

Madugalle found that "on the balance of probability" the ball had not been tampered with.

Source: http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0...

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