Hair charges "nonsense" Pakistan cricket chief says

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KARACHI, Oct 2 (Reuters) Pakistan has dismissed as ''nonsense'' and ''ridiculous'' the charges of racial discrimination brought by Australian test umpire Darrell Hair against his former employers, the International Cricket Council.

Nasim Ashraf, Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said he will be going to London to give evidence at Hair's employment tribunal.

''Hair's charges are incorrect. What happened to him was because of his own inappropriate behaviour as a test umpire,'' Ashraf said.

''There was no racial discrimination involved and it was a board decision against Hair,'' he added.

Hair's lawyer told the tribunal in London on Monday that the ICC bowed to pressure from a bloc of Asian countries when it effectively sacked his client in the aftermath of the abandonment of the Oval Test last year.

Hair's lawyer told the London Central Employment Tribunal that his client suffered racial discrimination at the hands of the ICC, which was heavily influenced by the Indian and Pakistani boards.

Ashraf was part of a three-member committee that made recommendations on the Hair issue to the ICC executive board.

Hair was involved in a row with the Pakistan team and board in Aug. 2006 during the Oval test when he accused the Pakistanis of ball tampering.

The accusations led to former captain, Inzamam-ul-Haq refusing to resume the match after tea in protest.

Hair and fellow umpire, Billy Doctrove, later awarded the match to England, the first forfeiture result in Test history.

The ICC adjudicator, Ranjan Madugalle cleared the Pakistanis of ball tampering charges and filed a report not favourable to Hair, who was de-listed by the ICC executive board last year.

Hair's lawyer has also issued a summons for Inzamam to appear as a witness in the case, although Ashraf said he was not obliged to go.

''He is neither a British citizen and neither is he obliged, but if he wants he can go and testify.'' REUTERS BJR VC1500

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