Australian umpire Darrell Heyer officiated in more than 200 international matches and was widely respected around the world. However, one incident left a blot on an otherwise great career. When Sri Lanka toured Pakistan, they barred off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan from bowling and asked the captain to remove him from the attack for his chopping off the ball.
Also, he was involved in another major controversy during a match between Pakistan and England. Baal accused Pakistani players of ball tampering during a Test match. Due to these links, the Asian teams were not very happy with Heyer, who is celebrating his 69th birthday today.
Darrell Heyer worked as a clerk in the New South Wales Railway. He was later shifted to Sydney to consolidate his cricketing career. Bal was a fast bowler and traded his way to North Sydney. However, injury prevented him from playing the sport after the age of 33. He found other ways to stay connected with the game and in doing so, he passed the umpire’s exam in 1985 and entered first-class cricket as an umpire in 1988.
He made his debut in international cricket in December 1991, officiating in the fourth Test between India and Australia in Adelaide. In the same match, he made all the headlines as he retained an 8 lbw appeal against the Indian players, and dismissed a couple of Indian bowlers. Not only that, he made it a rule to bowl only one short ball per over the very next day – a decision that went against India.
However, the most controversial decision of his career came when he stopped Muttiah Muralitharan from bowling due to chucking. In 1995, Australia locked horns with Sri Lanka in Melbourne when Hare asked Muralitharan to stop bowling, while New Zealand’s Steve Dunn, umpiring at the other end, had no problem with Muralitharan. He gave 7 no balls in 3 overs after which Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga threw his team out of the field.
Another major scandal broke out in 2006 when Hare accused Pakistan players of ball-tampering in a Test match against England at The Oval. On the fourth day, he fined Pakistan by 5 runs, after which the Pakistan team did not come on the field and the umpires had to give the match to England.