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Last Updated: Monday, 1 October 2007, 12:51 GMT 13:51 UK
Hair 'hell' over forfeited Test
Darrell Hair
Hair remains on the ICC's elite umpires list
Umpire Darrell Hair claims his life has been "made hell" since the forfeited Oval Test match between England and Pakistan in August 2006.

The Australian has been barred from officiating major international matches following his actions in that game.

He faces an employment tribunal on Monday, claiming racial discrimination and racial harassment.

Hair told BBC One's Inside Sport: "My life has been turned upside down, but I make no apologies."

Hair's position has been under debate since he and fellow umpire Billy Doctrove penalised Pakistan for ball-tampering in the controversial fourth Test at The Oval in 2006.

They awarded five penalty runs to England and offered them a replacement ball. Play continued until tea, but the Pakistani players refused to come back out on to the field in protest at the decision.

For an umpire to go into hiding for security issues after making a decision on the field is hard to take

Darrell Hair

After waiting in the centre of the field for the tourists to resume, the umpires removed the bails and declared England winners by forfeit - the first time such an action had been taken in a Test match.

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq was subsequently cleared of ball-tampering, although he was found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute after his part in the Pakistan protest.

Hair was criticised for his role and prevented from officiating in further matches involving Test nations.

In a bid to clear his name, the 55-year-old has brought legal proceedings against cricket's world governing body, the International Cricket Council, starting on Monday at the London office of the Tribunals Service.

Amanda Farnsworth
Editor, Inside Sport
A statement in February from Hair's solicitors, Finers Stephens Innocent, said: "The reality in this case is that our client would not have been treated in this way if he had not been a white umpire."

Among the witnesses expected to appear on his behalf is Billy Doctrove, his fellow umpire that fateful day 13 months ago, as well as John Jameson, former assistant secretary of MCC - which upholds the laws of the game - and ex-West Indies captain Jimmy Adams.

Hair will be represented by Robert Griffiths QC, an MCC committee member, and will be opposed by Michael Beloff QC, a leading sports law barrister.

Claiming the saga has left him fearing for his own safety, Hair said: "Umpires make mistakes but they make honest decisions and make those for the good of the game.

"I didn't forfeit the Test match. The laws provide for things under certain circumstances and I think it was pretty clear that one team was refusing to play.

We believe racism was never an issue in this matter

ICC president Ray Mali

"But if you've got the courage of your convictions you have to make those decisions and I make no apologies.

"But for an umpire to actually go into hiding for various reasons, one of them for security issues, after making a decision on the field is hard to take.

"What's become of the game when you can't make a decision without being able to go out at night? It's been pretty much hell, there's no doubt about that."

In opening exchanges, Hair's legal team emphasised the decision to penalise Pakistan for ball tampering was a joint decision taken by both Hair and West Indian Doctrove, whose career has not been affected.

Hair's team argue that the ICC's decision to suspend him was effectively taken by just three men. One of them was Nasim Ashraf, the head of the Pakistan Cricket Board, who, in their words, acted as prosecutor, judge and jury.

In response, the ICC said it was was not a racially-motivated decision and that Hair was the author of his own downfall.



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