SYDNEY — 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.

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 behavior bond, noting he repaid the money and was in counseling.

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