Hair accuses Asian bloc pressure reason behind his ban

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London, Oct 2 (UNI) Australian umpire Darrell Hair has accused the Asian bloc of destroying his international career by forcing the International Cricket Council (ICC) to ban him from standing at the top level in the aftermath of the Oval Test fiasco last August.

Hair, who is seeking compensation for alleged racial discrimination, told an employment tribunal here that the ICC stopped him from umpiring at top level international cricket to appease the powerful Asian bloc.

The controversial Aussie also told the tribunal that there was a cover up in the ICC Board meeting in Mumbai last November which was called to decide his fate and the minutes of which were missing.

''The ICC bowed to the racially discriminatory pressure that was brought to bear on it by the Asian bloc and ICC board member countries. That has traumatised the world of cricket. The Asian bloc is dominant in cricket and it appears that it uses that dominance unlawfully,'' Robert Griffiths, Hair's lawyer, submitted before the tribunal.

''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,'' the counsel said.

Griffiths also claimed that part of a tape-recording of the ICC meeting in Mumbai was missing.

''Whether by accident or design, there is no record of this most critical aspect of the meeting. Is this cricket's Watergate?'' he asked.

Griffiths said even though PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf had made a complaint about Hair's conduct during the Oval Test, he had still been allowed to attend an unminuted, three-man lunch meeting on Hair's future.

''These are the circumstances in which the Board resolved, because of the backing of the Asian and black majority, that Hair should not be appointed to international matches.'' ''He (Ashraf) was effectively prosecutor, judge and jury,'' Griffiths said, adding that Peter Chingoka (Zimbabwe) and John Anderson (New Zealand) had also spoken previously in favour of taking action against Hair.

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