It is rather surprising that ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed has dismissed umpire Darrell Hair's letter, in which he offered to resign for a monetary consideration, as one written under stress and without any malicious, dishonest or underhand intent. Had it been indeed written under stress, the monetary aspect would not have been mentioned. The issue should be inquired into by a competent body.

K.S. Sridharan,
Chennai

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Hair's atrocious demand should be seen as what it is blackmail. His action smacks of arrogance. He has been emboldened by the ICC's sympathetic attitude towards him.

H.R. Bapu Satyanarayana,
Mysore

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Umpiring has assumed centre stage after the unfortunate turn of events in the Pakistan-England match at The Oval. All cricket enthusiasts will agree that Hair's decision to award the match to England was strictly in accordance with the laws of the game. But surely, some weightage should have been given to the spirit of the game. Inzamam-ul-Haq should have been given a warning before drastic action was taken. The incident should serve as an eye-opener to the ICC. Umpiring decisions should be based on the laws of cricket tempered with the spirit of the game.

S. Shankar,
Chennai