Quintus de Zylva
Our Murali was tormented in the Boxing Day test match at the MCG by Darrell Hair when he called Murali for “chucking” as shown in the photograph. Hair was hailed as the ultimate courageous umpire for his action which stunned the cricketing world. Hair rode high for some years until Murali was finally cleared by the ICC of having an action that was within the fifteen degree limits of bending his arm. The Sri Lanka Cricket Foundation of Victoria supported Murali through several episodes of this torment. Hemaka Amarasuriya the then President of the Sri Lanka Cricket Board arrived in Australia to lend support to us as we had Murali visit several well-known defamation lawyers in Melbourne and Brisbane.
Darrell Hair rode high through many an interview at that time. BUT how the mighty have fallen. Look at this headline Former cricket umpire Darrell Hair admits stealing cash from Orange bottle shop””
Magistrate Michael Allen described Hair’s appearance before him in Orange as a “monumental fall from grace” and sentenced him to an 18-month good behaviour bond, without conviction”.
Murali must surely have remember the days when he was severely traumatized by an allegation that finally was proven to be false. Murali’s calmness through those heady days was a lesson to all budding cricketers of the future.Hair pleaded guilty to one charge of embezzlement and one charge of stealing.
Victor Melder’s ADDENDUM … Stephanie Gardiner in Sydney Morning Herald, 24 October 2017, “Former cricket umpire Darrell Hair admits stealing cash from Orange bottle shop”,
Darrell Hair during a press conference in 2006.
“Yep, you got me.” That’s what former international cricket umpire Darrell Hair told his managers at a bottle shop when they confronted him about stealing money from the till. In the grip of gambling addiction, Hair was working at D’Aquino’s Liquor in Orange, in central west NSW, nine years after ending his long and colourful career as an umpire.
He was fired from the shop in May when his bosses found CCTV footage of him taking money from the cash register and putting it in his pants pocket.
The 65-year-old, famed for no-balling Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan for throwing in a Boxing Day Test, pleaded guilty to one charge of embezzlement and one charge of stealing in Orange Local Court on Monday morning.”[Hair] stated that he had no excuse for his dishonesty and he had let his gambling get too far out of control during the early months of 2017 and failed to react to the signs that it was out of control,” the document said. He made full admissions when interviewed by police.
“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. “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 said Hair’s actions were a breach of trust, but noted Hair had repaid the stolen money, written letters of apology, and was in counselling for depression and addiction. Mr Allen sentenced Hair to an 18-month good behaviour bond, and did not record a conviction, stressing the law treats everyone the same way, regardless of public standing or privilege.
“There are some in our community, in particular on commercial radio, who speak with loud voices for justice to be stern and unrelenting,” Mr Allen said. “But that would undermine what it sets out to achieve.”
Mr Allen said gambling ads were everywhere, and gambling addiction was “no less real than an addiction to drugs … or alcohol. It’s a journey he will live with, and no doubt struggle with, on a daily basis for the rest of his life.”
Hair was at the centre of one of cricket’s most notorious moments when he repeatedly no-balled Muralitharan during the Boxing Day Test between Australia and Sri Lanka at the MCG in 1995. Muralitharan had his action cleared the following May, and then again in 1999, and went on to become one of the most famous bowlers in Test history.
Hair was also one of the umpires who decided to penalise Pakistan for suspected ball tampering on the fourth day of the fourth Test against England in 2006.