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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 February 2007, 07:25 GMT
Hair to sue cricket authorities
Hair watches Kenya's Thomas Odoyo bowl
Hair remains an ICC umpire and stood in Nairobi on Wednesday
Umpire Darrell Hair is to take legal action against world cricket's governing body and the Pakistan Cricket Board for racial discrimination.

Hair was barred from officiating Test matches after the forfeited Oval Test between England and Pakistan in August.

Billy Doctrove, his fellow umpire in the game when Pakistan were accused of ball-tampering, is now back in action.

"I have instructed my lawyers to issue an application alleging racial discrimination," said Hair.

"Therefore it is inappropriate for me to make further comment given that this matter has yet to be determined by the tribunal."

Hair held a press conference in Nairobi on Wednesday, after standing in the ICC World Cricket League final between Kenya and Scotland.

His contract as an elite umpire runs until March 2008 but he will not be allowed to stand in games involving Test nations.

Doctrove, from Dominica, took several months off before returning to action during Pakistan's recent Test series in South Africa.

Hair believes the PCB "unlawfully induced" the International Cricket Council to engage in discriminatory acts when it lobbied for his ban before a November meeting.

It is crass for him to say a black West Indian was let off [whereas] he was a white man and therefore he was charged

PCB chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf

The ICC said in a statement it "does not believe there is merit in this claim and will vigorously defend the matter".

PCB chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf said he was "simply outraged" when his lawyer passed on Hair's written claims.

"This is adding insult to injury. Race has nothing to do with this," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"Mr Hair was removed from the elite panel of umpires by the full ICC board, which has many countries, because of his poor judgement.

"This is the most preposterous thing I have heard. This is another manifestation of Mr Hair's mental status."

ICC bosses have admitted that, prior to the meeting off all Test-playing nations, they had hoped Hair could continue his role on the elite panel of umpires.

But afterwards, ICC president Percy Sonn said: "It was clear from discussions that the ICC board had lost confidence in Mr Hair."

Sonn also stated that Doctrove's status was not discussed at the meeting.

Ashraf added: "It is crass for him to say a black West Indian was let off [whereas] he was a white man and therefore he was charged.

"Mr Hair was the senior umpire and he literally took over that Oval cricket match. I was present there.

"There was only one man that evening that did not want cricket to be played. [It was] a black spot on the history of cricket thanks to Mr Hair."

On 20 August, Hair and Doctrove awarded England a five-run penalty because they believed the ball had been interfered with.

The Pakistan team refused to resume play after the tea interval in protest against the decision, leading to the first forfeiture in 129 years of Test cricket.

ICC adjudicator Ranjan Madugalle later cleared Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq of ball-tampering charges.

Hair offered his resignation in exchange for $500,000 (254,500) in the wake of the match.

SEE ALSO
Hair barred from internationals
04 Nov 06 |  Cricket
Disrepute ban for skipper Inzamam
28 Sep 06 |  Pakistan


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