Hair voted Umpire of the year

The recent controversy surrounding umpire Darrell Hair and his decision to penalise Pakistan for ball tampering in the fourth test between England and Pakistan has apparently had no effect on his popularity amongst cricket fans. Despite the fact that Hair was recently sacked by the ICC, the Australian umpire was voted the umpire of the season by readers of the English cricket magazine, The Wisden Cricketer.

The results of the poll may add strength to the argument that banning Hair from international cricket was a rash decision, given his normally exceptional performance as an umpire. Hair received more than a third of the votes, establishing that he remains a popular umpire, at least outside of the subcontinent.

Hair received an enormous amount of support from the poll, described by one fan as the only official with any courage. Those who supported Hair maintained that the umpire’s decision should be final and praised him for “exposing the cheats”.

Upon receiving the news, Hair was astonished. “[I]t is a bit of a shock”, he stated but was grateful for the support. “[I]f free-thinking people want to vote that way and they do believe I’ve done the job as well as anybody or even better I can accept that fact. It’s a great vote of confidence”.

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