As you’re out this morning overturning cars in wild celebration of Australia’s overnight eight-wicket Champions Trophy victory, spare a thought for the only Australian out there who cannot share in your joy: former international umpire Darrell Hair.

HairBallGate has claimed him, as it was always destined to.

Over the weekend, the ICC Board met in Mumbai and, having dealt with such issues as Greece’s player list and the USA Cricket Association’s constitution (“We, the cricketers of the United States…”), ended Hair’s international cricket umpiring career.

“It was clear from discussions that the ICC Board has lost confidence in Mr Hair,” said ICC President Percy Sonn.

But I think there’s another future waiting for Darrell back here at home. One of the joys of watching hour upon hour of one-day cricket over the last month was hearing the many voices of world cricket commentary, ranging from the excellent (former West Indian quick Ian Bishop has proven a real find) to the plain awful (who keeps hiring Damien Fleming?).

Either way, the prospect of another season of the Bill and Tony show and nature’s valium Ian Chappell on Nine this summer is leaving me cold. What if Big Darrell were to slot in beside Richie and the shiny, bronzed face of Mark Nicholas this year?

Cricket Australia has already issued an open invitation for Hair to return to Australia from his base in England to umpire domestic matches: how much better to get the big man behind a microphone so we can all hear his take on cricket? Is he really officious? Eager to leap to conclusions? Or a misunderstood champion of the game? There’ll never be a better chance to find out.

But this is just the Crikey view. Who do you think should call the Ashes? Are the current Nine and ABC commentary teams doing it for you, and if not, who would you put in the comm box? Steve Waugh? Steve Bracks? Stevie Nicks?

Send your commentary dream team to [email protected].

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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