Was Darrell Hair’s first decision to penalise Pakistan for ball tampering right? I don’t know. Was he and his co-umpire right to call the game off when Pakistan refused to come out and play? Yes, they were absolutely correct.
Anyone who has played any sport knows that the umpire’s decision is final. You can appeal the decision later through appropriate channels if its so grossly unreasonable but if, even once, umpires start letting themselves be pushed around during the game by player protests then players will always protest. If this had been allowed to occur Pakistan would potentially be able to refuse to play every time a dodgy LBW decision is given. A bad LBW decision being a worse penalty than 5 runs in terms of the game outcome.
Cricinfo described it like this
After waiting in the middle of the pitch for twenty minutes, the umpires went to the Pakistan dressing-room to ask whether or not Inzamam-ul-Haq would lead out his team or not before they went out, took the bails off and left, thus awarding the Test to England.
Bob Woolmer told Cricinfo that after Pakistan refused to come out after the tea break, both umpires, after waiting on the field, went to the Pakistan dressing room to ask whether or not they would continue to play. Inzamam countered by asking the umpires why they had changed the ball, which led to the Pakistan team protesting.
“We are not here to answer that question,” Hair was reported to have said, and when Inzamam didn’t provide any reply to their initial query, they walked back out again. By the time Pakistan were eventually led out onto the field by Inzamam, the umpires had already walked on, knocked the bails off and gone back inside, refusing to come out again.
The umpires came onto the field and waited for twenty minutes then came back in and asked them to come out. To give any more chances would be to cave into the Pakistan’s petulance, and at that point would have brought the whole authority of the umpires into question. You can blame Hair perhaps for a bad ball tampering decision, but the forfeiture of the game was wholly Pakistan’s fault.