‘Rumours about corrupt umpires started with IPL’

Former ICC elite panel umpire Darrell Hair is not at all surprised by the allegations of fixing against match officials, and said such rumours started doing rounds since the birth of the cash-rich Indian Premier League.

Hair's statement came after the ICC has launched an "urgent investigation" into the claims made by an Indian television channel that several umpires were willing to fix matches for money in the just-concluded Twenty20 World Cup and Sri Lanka Premier League.

"I was wondering how long it would take before some umpire did some stupid things," he said. "There have been rumours going around for ages, since the IPL started, that umpires were involved," Hair said. "It all comes down to two things: opportunity and greed. If you're the type of person and you're given the opportunity, the greedy part of you will say, 'Yeah, I'm in'."

"In my whole career, there had always been word that certain umpires were on the take here or there," said Hair, who resigned as an international umpire in 2008 after an illustrious career of 16 years.

"But to be fair, all the guys I umpired with at international level I think were pretty much above board. But I don't doubt that there have been others around, probably in a lesser environment, trying to make a quick buck," Hair said.

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