Former Australian umpire Darrell Hair admits to stealing cash; cites gambling habit as reason

Former Australian Test umpire Darrell Hair has admitted stealing cash from the liquor shop where he was working, in a dramatic fall from grace for a man who enjoyed a successful but controversial career in cricket.

AFP, Oct,24 2017

Sydney: Former Australian Test umpire Darrell Hair has admitted stealing cash from the liquor shop where he was working, in a dramatic fall from grace for a man who enjoyed a successful but controversial career in cricket.

The 65-year-old, who caused a storm when he no-balled Sri Lanka star Muttiah Muralitharan for an illegal bowling action in 1995, took AUD 9,005.75 ($ - 7,041) between 25 February and 28 April this year.

File image of Australia's Darrell Hair. AFP

File image of Australia's Darrell Hair. AFP

The Sydney Morning Herald said Hair had a gambling problem and that he was fired when his bosses found CCTV footage showing him with his hand in the till.

Hair, who stood in 78 Tests from 1992 to 2008, pleaded guilty to one charge of embezzlement and one of stealing on Monday, documents from the Orange Local Court showed.

"My client has been in the public eye for many years and this is a bit of a fall for him, to find himself before the court in these circumstances," Hair's solicitor Andrew Rolfe said, according to the Herald.

"This is an aberration in the life of a man who, prior to this, had a lifetime of service to the community and to a sport that he loved."

Magistrate Michael Allen did not record a conviction but sentenced Hair to an 18-month good behaviour bond, noting that he repaid the money.

Hair caused an international row in 1995 when he repeatedly no-balled Muralitharan for throwing, which is illegal for cricket bowlers. He later said many match officials shared the same doubts but that some were scared to intervene.

Muralitharan, the world-record Test and one-day wicket-taker, was cleared by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after undergoing biomechanical tests on his bowling action, but the debate long polarised opinion.

Hair was also one of the umpires in 2006 when Pakistan become the first side in history to forfeit a Test after being penalised five runs for alleged ball-tampering against England.

Published Date: Oct 24, 2017 | Updated Date: Oct 24, 2017




Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5313 121
2 South Africa 4484 115
3 Australia 4174 104
4 New Zealand 3489 100
5 England 4829 99
6 Sri Lanka 4374 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 7594 122
2 South Africa 6911 117
3 New Zealand 6716 116
4 England 6936 116
5 Australia 6376 112
6 Pakistan 4877 96
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 3272 126
2 Australia 2513 126
3 India 3770 122
4 New Zealand 3013 116
5 West Indies 2538 115
6 England 2402 114