Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Tough Umpire a "Racist"

There would hardly be a sports fan alive who has not at some time felt that an umpire or referee has been unfair and biased against his team. And it certainly happens in the world's most popular bat-and-ball game -- cricket.

An Australian umpire, Darrell Hair, well-known for strict adherence to the rules, has however now been called a "racist" for his actions. He made the mistake of suspecting a cheating incident by a Pakistan cricket team:

"Pakistan captain Imran Khan ripped into the controversial umpire... Under the headline "Hair the Hitler does it again", Imran continued: "Hair is one of those characters when he wears the white umpires' coat, he metamorphoses into a mini-Hitler."

Ramiz Raja, another former Pakistan captain who was commentating on the Test, was also scathing of Hair. "The players from the sub-continent universally feel that he is biased, even to the extent of being a racist," he claimed."


"Criticizing the Ref" has always been regarded as poor sportsmanship but this time it is being taken seriously. Darrell Hair looks like he will be doing no more international umpiring.

It may be noted that a past brown-skinned victim (Muralitharan) of Darrell Hair's strict umpiring says the ump is OK. There is an update here and there is a supportive comment about Hair here.

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