Fallout of the Lahore attack March 9, 2009

Hair slams 'bullying' Lorgat

Cricinfo staff

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat's comments that umpires Simon Taufel and Steve Davis needed to be "more rational" in their assessment of the security at the time of the terrorist attack in Lahore has drawn a stinging attack from Darrell Hair, speaking in his capacity as head of the New South Wales Umpires and Scorers Association.

Lorgat, who was speaking shortly after arriving in Australia, was reacting to remarks from Taufel and Davis that they had been left high and dry when the attack started. He suggested that the pair needed time to reflect on things.

"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."

Speaking to AFP, Hair was clearly angry. "No one could possibly comprehend the frightening and life threatening nature of the predicament they found themselves in," he said. "For 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.

"I wonder if 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?

"Does someone have to die before ICC even remotely begins to understand the reality of the matter? It's 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."

Lorgat later met with Taufel for a clear-the-air chat. "We talked about the broader picture and what the ICC could do to deal with the issues involved," Taufel told the Australian. "It's got implications for how the ICC operates in future.

"That was my main message to Haroon. We need to look at the lessons outside of that incident because what happened in Lahore is a symptom of how cricket is managed and operated. Pointing the finger at organisations or administrators is not helpful. I'd rather work with the administrators and do everything I can to help.

"I offered that to Haroon. If I can be in front of directors or chief executives and put a point of view, I'm happy to do that."