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.

Voices
voices
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
News
newsHad asteroid hit earlier or later in history, the creatures might have survived, say scientists
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
arts + ents
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth GamesJust 48 hours earlier cyclist was under the care of a doctor
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
arts + entsFilmmaker posted a picture of Israeli actress Gal Gadot on Twitter
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel
arts + entsPrince Oberyn nearly sets himself on fire with a flaming torch
News
Danny Nickerson, 6, has received 15,000 cards and presents from well-wishers around the world
newsDanny loves to see his name on paper, so his mother put out a request for cards - it went viral
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
News
Orville and Keith Harris. He covered up his condition by getting people to read out scripts to him
People
Arts and Entertainment
Zoe Saldana stars in this summer's big hope Guardians of the Galaxy
filmHollywood's summer blockbusters are no longer money-spinners
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Life and Style
Workers in Seattle are paid 100 times as much as workers in Bangladesh
fashionSeattle company lets customers create their own clothes, then click 'buy' and wait for delivery
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

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried