Darrell Bruce Hair
September 30, 1952, Mudgee, New South Wales
Controversy and Darrell Hair go hand in hand. Since beginning his international umpiring career in 1991, Hair has proved to be larger than the game itself. It's not his decision making that is in question, but rather his ability to "call it the way he sees it" that has got under the skin of many of the world's cricket nations.
The ICC last August ranked Hair as the second best umpire in the world, and on decision-making statistics alone, measured from video evidence, he was rated top, with 253 correct out of 263 - a success rate of 95.5%.
He called Muttiah Muralitharan for throwing in a Test at the MCG in 1995-96, and then claimed in his autobiography that Murali's action was "diabolical". Hair received scathing criticism in Sri Lanka for his actions and didn't umpire another Test involving Sri Lanka until their tour of the West Indies in 2003.
Not surprisingly, in 2002, Hair's name was missing from the eight member Emirates Elite Panel of umpires. However, his name was added the following year when the Panel expanded.
Perhaps the most recent Darrell Hair controversy was at the Oval between England and Pakistan in 2006 where the first forfeiture of a Test match in 129 years of Test cricket occurred. Pakistan refused to take the field following Darrell Hair's accusation of ball-tampering. The match was eventually abandoned without another ball being bowled.
The fallout from this decision is still being felt. Hair offered to resign for a significant sum of money, which was very publicly refused by the ICC. He was banned from umpiring in international Tests and ODI's. Hair hit back threatening to sue the ICC for racial discrimination folowing the World Cricket League tournament in February 2006.