Still a Decision Maker by Abdul Habib 23rd August 2006 In 1998 Darrell Hair published his first autobiography. Now Hair isn't an exceptional umpire, in fact he was left out of the original list of elite umpires and only made it onto the elite panel when the number of elite umpires was expanded. Neither is he a particularly interesting, likeable or noticeable human being. So why would people pay money to read his autobiography? Perhaps the biggest clue lies in the title he chose. Hair called his autobiography 'The Decision Maker' Pretentious? Magniloquent? Ostentatious? Pompous? The title is all of that and more, it’s clear that Umpire Hair has an inflated sense of self-worth. He thinks of himself as someone of great importance, someone with unparalleled integrity, a pivotal figure in the world of cricket! A ‘decision maker’ no less! It would seem that without the esteemed Darrell Hair nothing would ever get done in the world of cricket! It’s got me wondering about how we could ever cope when the great man retires, perhaps it’s time to quit while we’re ahead and abandon the game entirely! However returning to the real world where Hair is a pompous, over officious and petulant bully! The rest of us are left wondering how Hair managed to shift any copies of his autobiography that he wasn’t giving away for free. Well the answer to that is fairly simple. Can anyone guess which part of Hair’s book is quoted most often? Yes, give yourselves a pat on the book because you’re completely right. It’s the part where he calls Murali’s action ‘diabolical’ when discussing one of his many self-created controversies. Hair’s autobiography sold on the back of his penchant for courting controversy and his deliberate attempts at moving the limelight away from the game in progress and onto himself. He even put a picture of himself calling a no ball onto the front cover of his book... ...now doesn't that picture tell a story about the reason why Darrell Hair himself believed that people would buy his book? It’s now approaching 10 years since his last autobiography and no doubt he will be looking to release another one just before or just after the 2007 World Cup because there would be a lot of interest in cricket related merchandise at that time. Not that there is anything wrong with that, in fact it’s good business sense to release a cricket autobiography around the time of the World Cup. But the question is who would want to buy Hair’s new autobiography? After all he’s already spoken about the most contentious event in his unremarkable life and aside from the Murali controversy there’s nothing else that Hair will be remembered for. So why should anyone buy his new book? Wouldn’t it be a great selling point for a new book if Umpire Hair was involved in another controversy but an even bigger one this time? Wouldn’t it be great if an Umpire punished an entire team for cheating without singling out any one individual to the fielding captain? Surely that would make people want to buy his autobiography to see how and why he came to that decision? Wouldn’t it be great for Umpire Hair if he was involved in something that had never happened in the entire history of cricket before? If Umpire Hair had allowed the game at the Oval to resume then it wouldn’t even have filled half a page! But by being the umpire to award the first ever forfeited test match he can surely squeeze several chapters out of this incident! Perhaps an entire book could be devoted to the controversy, maybe he could title it ‘Still a Decision Maker’ and put a picture of himself removing the bails on the front page... ...and don't be surprised if he does. After all by now Darrell knows about what sells books! In 1995 Murali suffered, in 1998 Darrell wrote a book on the back of it. In 2006 Inzamam is being made a scapegoat, any guesses when a book will be written on the back of this controversy?