Secret tapes 'went missing' alleges Hair

Darrell Hair, the experienced umpire who is suing the International Cricket Council for racial discrimination, was no longer permitted to stand in Test matches and one day internationals following a cover-up comparable to Watergate, it was claimed on the opening day of the hearing in London yesterday.

A decision was taken during a lunch meeting of three of the governing body's executives that the burly Australian should no longer be allocated top-level matches.

Robert Griffiths QC told the hearing that a part of the tape of the ICC's meeting that day went missing. "That part is when there was a further lengthy discussion as to Mr Hair's future role, the legal actions that might arise from the actions being considered and the simultaneous, coincidental, withdrawal of the Pakistan Cricket Board's complaint. The result is, whether by accident or design, there is no record whatsoever of this most critical aspect of the meeting.

"Who is the very last person who should have been directed to be one of the three people to take part in that discussion? Dr Nasim Ashraf. He was the new chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board and he was in the Pakistan dressing room during his team's protest. He was effectively prosecutor, judge and jury.

"Who else was directed to join in the discussion? Peter Chingoka, the chairman of Zimbabwe, which has selected its players on the basis of their race and colour. Sir John Anderson of New Zealand was the third member of the triumvirate and, it appears, was the only white member of the board who supported taking legal action against Mr Hair."

The three were empowered to resolve Hair's future, it was claimed, by Percy Sonn, the then president of the ICC, when there was an impasse over his umpiring.

Malcolm Speed, the chief executive of the ICC, who was at the hearing in the Central London Employment Tribunal, recommended, according to Griffiths, that no action should be taken against Hair and that he should continue to umpire international matches. He and Billy Doctrove, his friend who was also officiating at The Oval and who is a black West Indian, took a joint decision to penalise Pakistan for ball-tampering, it was claimed, but only Hair was held to account by the ICC.

"So he remained on its elite panel but he has suffered both personally and financially. The ICC bowed to the racially discriminatory pressure that was brought to bear on it by the Asian bloc and ICC Board member countries. The Asian bloc is dominant and sometimes it uses that dominance inappropriately. Everyone knows it, but most are afraid to say so," Griffiths said.

"A fundamental issue is whether this was done to save Pakistan's reputation and, or, to teach a lesson to a white Australian and any other umpires who dare take similar action. To discriminate against Mr Hair for upholding the Laws of Cricket and to justify this as being 'in the interests of the game' is a huge indictment of the ICC's governance."

Michael Beloff QC, for the ICC, declared that Hair was "the author of his own misfortune". Exactly the same decision would have been made by the ICC had he been black, brown or green. He said that, in cricketing parlance, Hair "had run himself out". For the first time in 129 years, a match had been decided not by the skill of the winning team but by the decision of an official. The question posed is, did the ICC act in the manner complained of because of Mr Hair's race or was it on grounds unconnected?

"His case on the question of discrimination has been changeable, evasive and, to a degree, reckless. He was immeasurably the more experienced and senior of the two umpires and, in respect of every action during the fourth Test which has excited adverse comment, Mr Hair took the initiative and Mr Doctrove's role was only to agree [with him]. Mr Hair agrees that Mr Doctrove did not himself favour immediate change of the ball when marks were first identified. It was Mr Hair who walked out of the crucial meeting when an attempt was made by all interested parties to broker a restart," Beloff said.

How the Hair affair began

It is 20 August 2006 and the fourth day of the fourth Test at The Oval when the umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove confer over the state of the ball, with England 230 for 3 in their second innings. Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood select a new ball from half a dozen offered to them. The Pakistan coach, Bob Woolmer, tries to see the match referee, Mike Procter, to no avail.

* Bad light stops play with England 33 behind and six wickets intact.

* With play due to resume, Hair and Doctrove wait in the middle. Collingwood and Ian Bell, remain on balcony. Pakistan do not re-emerge.

* Umpires leave the field.

* ECB chief executive David Collier is seen talking to England coach Duncan Fletcher.

* The batsmen, plus Hair and Doctrove return to the field. Pakistan do not.

* ECB chairman David Morgan talks with his Pakistan counterpart, Shaharyar Khan.

* Signs made by Pakistan hierarchy suggest play will continue shortly.

* Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq leads his team back on to the field to a chorus of boos.

* With umpires absent, Inzamam leads players off.

* Khan confirms the delay was a protest against the punishment and implication Pakistan had deliberately scuffed the ball.

* Play called off for day.

Arts and Entertainment
TV Review: Sabotage, a meltdown and, of course, plenty of sauce
News
newsVideo for No campaign was meant to get women voting
News
A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
news
News
i100'Geography can be tough'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Louis van Gaal looks dejected after Manchester United's 4-0 defeat by MK Dons on Tuesday night
sport
News
Actor, model and now record breaker: Jiff the Pomeranian
Video
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
News
i100
News
Down time: an employee of Google uses the slide to get to the canteen
scienceBosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
News
i100
News
In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett medically erase each other from their memories
scienceTechnique successfully used to ‘reverse’ bad memories in rodents could be used on trauma victims
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Pixie Lott will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2014, the BBC has confirmed
tv
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?