London, Jun 5 (PTI) Former English umpire John Holder has hit out at England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) over the latter's statement that he and his colleague Ismail Dawood have withdrawn their claim of institutional racism.
Holder accused the ECB of being 'disingenuous' and 'misleading' following their racial discrimination claim.
The duo had announced their intention to sue the ECB in December after alleging that their careers as umpires had been affected by institutional racism at the cricket body.
'Our case against the ECB has been beaten on a legal technicality. I haven't withdrawn any of the claims I made,' Holder was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
'The tone of the ECB's statement would give the uninvolved reader the impression that we have accepted their version of events and backed down. This is not the case at all. We remain convinced that the ECB is institutionally racist.' Holder, 76, stood in 16 Tests between 1988 and 2001.
In a statement issued on Friday, the ECB said, 'We do not agree with the accusation that the ECB is institutionally racist, but we do recognise that the stories and insight, shared by many within cricket in the last 12 months, reflect that as a sport we need to do more to ensure that everyone feels welcome.
'We are in the process of undertaking an independent review of officiating and are committed to acting on its findings to ensure that the game is open and accessible. We have invited John and Ismail to share their experiences as part of that process.' The remarks by English cricket's apex body did not go down well with both the umpires.
'Having read that statement, I knew I couldn't work with these people any more. There is no trust. They aren't looking to learn from my experiences; they are looking to silence me and give the impression that things have been resolved. That is misleading and disingenuous.' Dawood was also not impressed with the ECB's statement. Dawood, 44, played for Yorkshire, Glamorgan and Worcestershire. He officiated in men's domestic cricket and two women's one-day internationals.
'We were offered token roles to work with Neil Snowball at the ECB which were an insult to us and the many others that have suffered at the hands of the ECB,' Dawood told the cricket portal.
Last week, former England fast bowlers Dean Headley and Devon Malcolm were appointed to a supplementary panel of ECB match referees.
This comes just three days after debutant England seamer Ollie Robinson issued an apology after tweets he posted in 2012 and 2013 emerged during the opening Test against New Zealand, which he acknowledged were 'racist and sexist' in nature.
Last year, former Yorkshire spinner Azeem Rafiq also alleged 'institutional racism' at the county, which have been carrying out an investigation into the claims. PTI AH AH KHS KHS