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Cricket riven by scandal
August 25, 2006 11:04 PM   Subscribe

Umpire offers to quit for cash payment. Cricket has been gripped by a scandal that started at The Oval cricket ground last Sunday. It started with an accusation of ball tampering by one of the match umpires, Darryl Hair, during a match between Pakistan and England. Hair awarded England 5 runs and changed the ball, which is the sanction in the laws. Pakistan then refused to play, forfeiting the match. Ball tampering is an emotive issue for Pakistan, as is Darryl Hair who has previously been accused of bias against teams from the Indian subcontinent (i.e. racism). In a bizarre twist, Hair has now offered to resign as an umpire, in return for a massive cash payment. It shows the regard in which he is held, that his bosses decided to publicise this. It seems unlikely he will ever stand in a test match again.
posted by winjer (21 comments total)

 
This all takes place against a backdrop of massively increased tensions between Christian and Muslim countries. The Pakistan cricket team, as with many thing Pakistani, has become more outwardly devout over the last few years, with the conversion of several team members to Islam, and many players prostrating themselves at the wicket on hitting a century, something rare until recently.

The current Pakistan tour of England has been friendly and peaceful, but this event has exposed all of the cracks visible everywhere in dealings between the West and the East, with massive over-reactions from everyone.
posted by winjer at 11:06 PM on August 25, 2006


Pakistan prides itself on its pace attack, so accusations of ball tampering hit a raw nerve.
posted by Gyan at 11:15 PM on August 25, 2006


Sigh. I kinda knew something like this was inevitable. Never really had respect for Hair in the first place, anyway. I just know a lot of people are going to run with this and try and say that this implies that there is rampant racism in the Australian cricket team - which I have constantly had to defend (Willful blindness? I really don't know).
posted by liquorice at 12:06 AM on August 26, 2006


"with massive over-reactions from everyone"

Except, I think it's fair to say, the England cricket team, the ECB and the PCB.
posted by nthdegx at 2:41 AM on August 26, 2006


And, their mistake at not returning to the cricket field for so long aside, I think the Pakistan side handled it well, too.
posted by nthdegx at 2:45 AM on August 26, 2006


It seems unlikely he will ever stand in a test match again.

You can say that again. Racist or not, the fact that he asked for a bung to step down suggests that his judgement is so poor that he shouldn't be an umpire.

As for the racism thing, has anyone done an insanely detailed analysis of the matches he's umpired involving India or Pakistan yet?
posted by jack_mo at 4:02 AM on August 26, 2006


Not as far as I know, jack_mo, I think the evidence is specific instances. For example, in 2005 referring a potential runout of Inzamam to the third umpire when he was clearly avoiding the ball rather than attempting to run.
posted by matthewr at 4:10 AM on August 26, 2006


BTW, it's Darrell not Darryl.
posted by matthewr at 4:10 AM on August 26, 2006


Good post but the [More Inside] is a bit of a stretch. Hair is a lone gunman in this instance.
posted by ninebelow at 4:48 AM on August 26, 2006


As for the racism thing, has anyone done an insanely detailed analysis of the matches he's umpired involving India or Pakistan yet?

Why are you picking out India and Pakistan particularly? In 1995 it was Hair that called the great Muttiah Muralitharan's bowling action into question, and this, now, is being cited as the sort of example you're asking about.
posted by nthdegx at 5:26 AM on August 26, 2006


I think calling the money a bung is a bit unfair on poor old Darrell (yeah I spelled his name wrong before, natch). He was asking for the money to cover his loss of earnings for falling on his sword.

I think he's been stitched up here, by having a confidential email leaked.
posted by winjer at 6:30 AM on August 26, 2006


I'd love to be paid to quit my job.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:46 AM on August 26, 2006


The whole situation, it appears to me, is just not, well, cricket.
posted by klangklangston at 8:05 AM on August 26, 2006


Why are you picking out India and Pakistan particularly?

Er, because the allegation is that he's prejudiced against those teams. Suppose I should've said Bangladesh and Sri Lanka too.

I was just wondering if, other than the well known examples, there was evidence of him generally tending to make decisions to the detriment of sides from the subcontinent.
posted by jack_mo at 9:47 AM on August 26, 2006


Damn you klangklangston!

That was my line!
posted by knapah at 11:43 AM on August 26, 2006


Er, because the allegation is that he's prejudiced against those teams.

Which allegation is that?
posted by nthdegx at 12:48 PM on August 26, 2006


Meatbomb - I'd love to be paid to quit my job.

Serverence pay?
posted by porpoise at 4:07 PM on August 26, 2006


It's funny, people have been bringing up the fact that he called Murali for throwing. Since that time Murali has been extensively tested and his action has been found to be within the current limit of 15 degrees. However, the limit at the time Hair called him was 5 degrees for slow bowlers, so it appears that Hair was correct in calling him.

As for the current situation, he did everything exactly by the book, Pakistan refused to play, he went and conferred with them to see if they would play, which is what the rules say he has to do. They still refused to play, so he had no choice, within the rules, other than to award the match to England. If Pakistan had a problem with his initial ball tampering call they should have brought it to the attention of the match referee, who is there for situations exactly like this.

My reading of the offer to retire for money bit is that he feels he has a contract to umpire international cricket, and he has offered for the ICC to buy out that contract if they feel that him umpiring games will cause friction.
posted by markr at 8:20 PM on August 26, 2006


Personally, I don't know if Darrell Hair is racist or not, but it's difficult to call his actions against the Pakistani, or the Sri Lankan, teams as being racist. Which is not to say that he was right to call ball-tampering; merely that it's difficult to ascribe his decisions on-field to any cultural/ racial bias.

(Also, I really don't recall him being involved in any 'scandal' with the Indian or the Bangladeshi teams. Any pointers anyone?)
posted by the cydonian at 11:48 PM on August 26, 2006


I watched this all taking place live. The commentators were all trying to figure out what was going on for the first little while, and then were trying to decide how they felt about it once they figured out what the fuss was about. Most of the commentators felt Pakistan was right to protest, as it's a pretty serious charge against the team.

Also, I wonder why Pakistan always produces such kick-ass bowlers. Pakistan's under 19 swing bowler Anwar Ali Khan is a robot. He played a brilliant game against India in the under 19 world cup.
posted by chunking express at 10:35 AM on August 27, 2006


I wish Pakistan and protested, and then come out and kicked England's ass. They were set to win that match.
posted by chunking express at 10:36 AM on August 27, 2006


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