Finers steps in to bat against ‘racist’ ICC

Controversial cricket umpire Darrell Hair has instructed Finers Stephens Innocent to bring his allegations of racial discrimination against the sport’s governing body and Pakistani authority.

Finers head of sports law Daniel Marks has written to both the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and International Cricket Council (ICC) to bring an employment tribunal case.

A statement from Finers reads: “It is our view, and that of our client, that he has been treated in an unacceptable and appalling manner. The reality in this case is that our client would not have been treated in this way if he had not been a white umpire.”

ICC commercial lawyer Richard Verow is leading the defence for the Dubai-based ICC. A statement from the ICC read: “The ICC does not believe there is merit in this claim and will vigorously defend the matter.”

The action stems from Hair’s removal from the ICC elite umpire’s panel as part of the fallout from the infamous forfeited Test between England and Pakistan at The Oval in August.

Hair, an Australian who now resides full-time in England, and co-umpire West Indian Billy Doctrove penalised Pakistan five runs for ball tampering, sparking a sit-in protest by the Pakistan team players after lunch that led to the umpires calling the match forfeit.

The PCB has again retained DLA Piper sports law expert Mark Gay, who is working on the defence along with employment partner Susan Fanning. Gay led the team that defended Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Huq against ball tampering charges which sparked a sit in protest by Pakistan’s players during the August Test that led to match’s forfeiture.

The charges are to be reviewed before a London-based employment tribunal, where a decision to progress to a full hearing or dismiss the charges will be made. No date has been set for the hearing.