Darrell Hair speaking to Muttiah Muralitharan.
Darrell Hair speaking to Muttiah Muralitharan.

‘A monumental fall from grace’

FORMER Test cricket umpire Darrell Hair has avoided conviction after pleading guilty to stealing from his employer in what a magistrate called "a monumental fall from grace."

Hair, who stood in 78 Tests and is remembered for calling Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan for throwing in a Test in Melbourne in 1995, pleaded guilty in the Orange Local Court on Monday to one charge of embezzlement and one of stealing.

A fact sheet said Hair stole $9,005.75 from D'Aquino's Liquor in Orange between Feb. 25 and April 28. He blamed a gambling addiction.

Darrell Hair calls Muttiah Muralitharan for a no-ball.
Darrell Hair calls Muttiah Muralitharan for a no-ball.

The lawyer for the 65-year-old Hair, Andrew Rolfe, described the offending as "an aberration" in a lifetime of service.

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



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He told the court he hasn’t had a drink since the incident happened.

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The defendant told the court what she did was “irresponsible” and “selfish”.