review first published at www.boomerangbooks.com.au
In the Best Interests of the Game
978 0 7322 9288
Hair covered the Muttiah Muralitharan episode in a previous hard-hitting book although it again receives a little coverage towards the end of this latest title. This title however covers the other major incident in Hair’s career- the refusal of the Pakistan team to return to the field in 2006 leaving Hair and his fellow umpire in the match, Billy Doctrove, little option under the rules than to award the match to Pakistan’s opponents, England. This refusal to return to the field was in protest at the umpires jointly agreeing that the ball being used by the Pakistani team had been tampered with and under the rules, awarded a five-run penalty to England.
The subsequent treatment of Hair by his employer, the International Cricket Council, in the wake of the ball-tampering affair, was absolutely appalling. The ICC breached so many fundamentals of the employer-employee relationship, it simply isn’t funny. A subsequent tribunal appeal by Hair saw the ICC quite rightly being absolutely ridiculed for their behaviour and ridiculously contradictory evidence. I think it quite fortunate over their monumental cock-ups.
This book is every bit as courageous and uncompromising as Hair himself in his pursuit of what he believes to be right and ‘in the best interests of the game.’