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Controversial Hair to umpire Pakistan test

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    Controversial Hair to umpire Pakistan test

    Controversial umpire Darrell Hair and Peter Willey will officiate in the first test between England and Pakistan next month.

    The International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed on Thursday that the pair would take charge of the Lord's encounter starting on May 17.

    The appointments may not please Pakistan, and pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar in particular.

    Australian Hair and Willey of England reported Shoaib for throwing following the third test against Australia in Perth in November 1999, sparking indignation in Pakistan.

    The ICC agreed there was a problem with his bouncer but he was subsequently allowed to play in one-day matches while the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) worked on his action.

    The 25-year-old Shoaib has just been cleared for a second time by his own board after being reported for throwing by New Zealand umpires Doug Cowie and Steve Dunne in a one-day international in Dunedin in February.

    Shoaib, who has taken 45 wickets in 15 tests and is challenging Australian Brett Lee for the title of the world's quickest bowler, is regarded as one of the most exciting players in the sport.

    Hair, meanwhile, first courted controversy when calling Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan for throwing seven times in three overs in the second test against Australia in Melbourne in December, 1995.

    Muralitharan's action was later declared legal while Hair, rated as one of Australia's top umpires, was subsequently charged with breaching the ICC's code of conduct after discussing the affair in his autobiography, ``Decision Maker'' and b*****ng Muralitharan's bowling action as diabolical. Last year the Sri Lankan board requested that Hair should not to stand in their matches in the ICC Knockout
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