ICL: Indian Cricket League

Hair slams uncaring ICC


Darrell Hair told the Central London Employment Tribunal that he was barred from standing in top-level matches because of decisions “motivated along racial lines”.

Giving evidence on the second day of his claim of racial discrimination against the ICC, Hair, who argues that his colleague at The Oval in 2006, Billy Doctrove, was treated differently by the ICC because of the colour of his skin, said: “If I had been from West Indies or Pakistan or India, I might have been treated differently, like Doctrove.

“At the time we told Inzamam-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, that we believed the marks we found on the ball were deliberately put there. After the match I was continually pilloried in the media by Shaharyar Khan, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, and Inzamam, which was clearly in breach of ICC conduct … and yet it did nothing to prevent this.”

In the week after the Oval Test, Hair said that he was not given time to consult lawyers before his email exchange, in which he offered to stand down for payment of US$500,000, was made public. He added that Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive who was in the hearing, listening to the evidence, told him in the aftermath of the Test: “We have something in common … the ICC wants to sack both of us.”

Under cross-examination, Hair revealed that he would lose about £1.7 million (US$3.4 million) in fees for Tests and one day internationals on the assumption his career as an ICC umpire did not continue after his contract with the ICC ends next March. Hair said that while has been retained on the ICC’s panel of elite umpires since August 2006, he has not received any match fees in that time.

Had he officiated in the number of games he would usually have been expected to stand in, he estimated that in 2007 his income would have been around £50,000 (US$100,000). “My projected earnings from fees in ICC Associate matches in this year would now appear to be a maximum of US$30,000 (£15,000),” he said. “Since returning to Australia I have been trying to find permanent employment without success. I have applied for positions at the Australian Rugby League and with a charity as a fund-raising manager, but I have been unsuccessful on each occasion. I do not have any confidence in being able to find a suitable place in the workforce for some considerable time, if at all.

“I feel devastated and let down by the ICC. Since … the final Test at The Oval, no-one from ICC has shown any concern for my welfare or for the welfare of my family. My family has suffered the pain of reading headlines such as ‘disgraced former umpire’ and ’sacked former umpire’ and I have found it difficult to cope with daily life in the knowledge that I have not been given a reasonable opportunity to defend myself or make a representation to the board in person.”

Hair explained that at no time has his ability as an umpire been questioned by the authorities. “There has never been any criticism about my match management capabilities by either Doug Cowie, the ICC umpire manager, the match referees or the captains. I find it incredulous that an ICC sub-committee adopted a position leading to my removal from umpiring top level cricket without me being given a chance to defend the charges against me or even to know what I am alleged to have done wrong.

“Even more astonishing to me is the fact that the ICC maintains there are no minutes or transcript of either the sub-committee’s discussion or the subsequent board discussion or the voting on the resolution.

“I asked Speed if it could possibly be performance related but he agreed that my performances since joining the elite panel had been generally very good and I had been continually ranked in the top three umpires. I was at a loss to understand how my career could possibly be effectively ended unless it was by a racially motivated and racially-discriminated process.”

In his cross examination, Michael Beloff QC, the ICC’s barrister, stated to Hair that the decision to sack him had been unanimous - it had not, and he also asked if he thought it appropriate to called the action of Muttiah Muralitharan, who Hair infamously no-balled during a Test in Australia, “diabolical”. Hair replied that he was applying the Laws of Cricket as they existed at the time.

The hearing continues on Wednesday.

Source:Cricket News

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