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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 October 2007, 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK
Hair ends ICC discrimination case
Umpires Billy Doctrove and Darrell Hair examine the ball
Umpires Billy Doctrove and Darrell Hair examine the ball
Darrell Hair has dropped his claim of racial discrimination against the International Cricket Council.

Australian umpire Hair's case at an employment tribunal in London collapsed after more than a week of evidence.

It is understood that no financial pay-off was made to him and his return to the top-flight is not guaranteed.

ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed told BBC Radio 5live on Tuesday: "I'm very pleased that this claim has been unconditionally withdrawn."

The ICC will decide next March if Hair has a future in top-level umpiring, but any attempt to restore him to the elite panel will not be be straightforward.

In the meantime, Hair will participate in an ICC rehabilitation programme.

"I think in six months we'll have a better idea," said Speed when asked if Hair would be able to officiate at elite level again.

"It's a matter for the board, which is a very diverse group generally with strong and differing groups, so a lot will depend on the rehabilitation programme and his attitude towards it.

"For the next six months he will umpire matches at associate level. I can't speculate as to whether he will return to umpiring full-member matches or not."

Darrell feels relieved and glad it's all over, and he does feel this is in the best interests of all parties

Paul Gilbert
Hair's solicitor

Hair took action after being dropped from the elite umpires list following the controversial Oval Test between England and Pakistan in 2006.

The match was abandoned amid claims of ball-tampering by the Pakistan side.

Hair, 55, claimed he was singled out for punishment by the ICC because West Indian Billy Doctrove, who was his co-umpire at The Oval, escaped censure.

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew said: "He will try his best to get back in but there were such trenchant views - this is the problem - throughout this case."

"He will still be absolutely convinced that he and Billy Doctrove did exactly the right thing on that day, [that] they had no choice but to give the game to England.

"And, of course, you'll have the views of particularly the Asian bloc, who have never liked Darrell Hair very much, who will simply say, 'Look, he's gone, let's move on and that's the end of it."

ICC president Ray Mali also welcomed Hair's decision to drop his case.

"We are pleased the issue has been resolved," said Mali. "We had no option but to defend these serious allegations."

Hair's solicitor said his client was glad he was now in a position to start thinking about his umpiring career again.

"This is really about getting back to umpiring top cricket matches," said Paul Gilbert.

606: DEBATE

"Darrell feels relieved and glad it's all over, and he does feel this is in the best interests of all parties.

"What we have now is a future for Darrell that leads to the possibility of his return to top-level umpiring."

The chain of events that ended up with Hair being stripped of his position began when he accused Pakistan of ball-tampering and awarded England five extra runs.

Pakistan, who were in a reasonably strong position, initially played on until the tea interval but their captain Inzamam-ul-Haq refused to take his players out for the resumption of play.

After a delay, Hair removed the bails and awarded the match to England by default.

At a meeting of the 10 Test-playing nations in November, the ICC said they had "lost confidence" in Hair, from New South Wales, and that he would be excluded from the umpires list until his contract expired in March 2008.

No action was taken against co-umpire Doctrove, leading to Hair's accusation that he had been singled out because he was a white umpire.

Inzamam was cleared of ball tampering by the ICC but banned for four matches for bringing the game into disrepute.

SEE ALSO
Morgan opposed demotion of Hair
08 Oct 07 |  Cricket
Hair accused of blackmailing ICC
03 Oct 07 |  Cricket
Hair 'hell' over forfeited Test
01 Oct 07 |  Cricket
Morgan named ICC president elect
29 Jun 07 |  Cricket
ICC names Mali acting president
07 Jun 07 |  South Africa
ICC president Percy Sonn mourned
27 May 07 |  South Africa
Hair rejects England umpire list
19 Feb 07 |  Cricket
Hair 'guessed' at ball-tampering
29 Sep 06 |  Pakistan
Pakistan anger over cricket chaos
21 Aug 06 |  South Asia
Inzamam charged in cheating row
21 Aug 06 |  Cricket


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