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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 October 2007, 14:32 GMT 15:32 UK
Hair accused of blackmailing ICC
Darrell Hair
Darrell Hair arriving at the Central London Employment Tribunal
Former Test umpire Darrell Hair has been accused of being a mudslinger who tried to blackmail the International Cricket Council into paying him off.

Hair is suing the ICC for racial discrimination after it sacked him from Tests following the notorious England v Pakistan Oval Test in August 2006.

At his employment tribunal in London, ICC barrister Michael Beloff QC quizzed the Australian on Wednesday.

He said Hair, 55, had aimed to cause the ICC "maximum embarrassment".

Acting with his co-umpire, Billy Doctrove, Hair penalised Pakistan for tampering with the ball, then awarded the match to England when Pakistan refused to continue the match in protest.

He contends that while he - a white Australian - has been severely punished for the episode, Mr Doctrove - a black West Indian - has escaped all censure.

What you were hoping to do was cause the ICC maximum embarrassment and cajole them into making some sort of offer to you

Michael Beloff QC

Hair said his competence as an umpire had never been questioned, and racism was the only possible explanation for his suspension.

But Beloff told the tribunal panel that much of Mr Hair's evidence was irrelevant to the case before it.

Earlier, Hair described a phone call in which another senior umpire, Rudi Koertzen, had referred to the Pakistan team as cheats.

"It is sheer mudslinging," said Beloff.

"What you were hoping to do was cause the ICC maximum embarrassment and cajole them into making some sort of offer to you."

An allegation made by Hair that the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, Dr Nasim Ashraf, had reputedly been involved in financial irregularities amounted to nothing more than a "scurrilous smear" on a highly respected official.

And it had nothing to do with the case against the ICC, Beloff went on.

SPORTS EDITORS' BLOG
Amanda Farnsworth
Editor, Inside Sport
Beloff took the Australian through emails he sent in the immediate aftermath of the Oval Test, in which first he offered to resign for a one-off payment of 250,000.

He then said he was revising the offer in the light of media comments about possible allegations of racism against him.

"I suggest that this is an example of you saying 'if you don't accept the offer, I am going to make all sorts of allegations around the racism issue'.

"It was blackmail, wasn't it?"

Mr Hair said it was not blackmail, but conceded he did regret sending the emails.

  • Inzamam-ul-Haq, Pakistan captain at the time of the match in question, said on Wednesday he would not be attending the tribunal.

    "I have cancelled all my engagements in order to be available for selection [for the second Test against South Africa]," he said.

    "I have informed the court about my decision. Right now I am concentrating on training."

    SEE ALSO
    Hair 'hell' over forfeited Test
    01 Oct 07 |  Cricket
    Hair rejects England umpire list
    19 Feb 07 |  Cricket
    Hair barred from internationals
    04 Nov 06 |  Cricket
    Ball controversy timeline
    21 Sep 06 |  Cricket
    Disrepute ban for skipper Inzamam
    28 Sep 06 |  Pakistan


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