Hair - ICC chief a bully
Darrell Hair has labelled Haroon Lorgat a bully after he questioned comments made by Lahore umpires Simon Taufel and Steve Davis.
Last Updated: 09/03/09 11:17am
Umpire Darrell Hair has labelled ICC chief Haroon Lorgat a bully after he said Simon Taufel and Steve Davis should have been "more rational" when speaking out following last week's terror attack in Lahore.
Both umpires complained of a lack of protection after gunmen opened fire on the bus carrying themselves and colleagues to the Test match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka on Tuesday.
Taufel and Davis lay stranded on the floor of their van, their driver having been shot dead and a colleague wounded in the attack, which killed a total of eight people and injured seven Sri Lankan players and an assistant coach.
Speaking in Australia on Sunday, International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Lorgat said that the umpires' comments, made upon their arrival home, had come too soon after the attack.
"I am mindful of the experience they have gone through and I think it is a difficult time for them," he said.
"I guess if you or I had gone through something we might have reacted in a similar fashion and I think we must just understand the context and we must just allow them to settle down and be more rational in their assessment of what has transpired."
Lorgat's words provoked a furious response from Hair, who is head of the New South Wales Umpires and Scorers Association, an organisation which counts Taufel as a life member.
"No-one could possibly comprehend the frightening and life-threatening nature of the predicament they found themselves in," he said.
"For Mr Lorgat to blandly ask them to be 'more rational' I think (smacks of) bullying and they are embarrassed that the full truth of the situation came out into the open."
He suggested that Lorgat should go on a management course to help him understand more fully the ICC's duty of care to players and officials, something he said it had "clearly failed to provide on this occasion".
"I wonder if Mr Lorgat would be making his shallow and insincere comments if it had been he trapped in a hail of bullets and felt abandoned by the very security forces that were supposed to protect them," Hair said.
He further described Lorgat's comment that the umpires were going through a difficult time as "the biggest understatement of all time" and also questioned his assertion that "cricket must go on in Pakistan".
"Does someone have to die before ICC even remotely begins to understand the reality of the matter?" Hair added.
"It is one thing to provide security and protection but another to actually be secure and protected. Quite simply, ICC and the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) totally failed the Sri Lankan players and the umpires, full stop."
The ICC dropped Hair from its elite umpiring panel for a period following the abandoned Test match between England and Pakistan at The Oval in August 2006.
The match ended with the tourists conceding the first Test forfeit in the game's history.