John Holder accuses ECB of being ‘disingenuous’ over racial discrimination claim


Ismail Dawood equally unimpressed by ECB comments, but governing body rejects allegations of ‘institutional racism’

John Holder has dismissed ECB comments claiming he has withdrawn his claim of racial discrimination against them as “disingenuous” and vowed to never work for the organisation again.
Holder and Ismail Dawood had launched a legal challenge against the ECB suggesting that their careers as umpires had been adversely affected by institutional racism at the ECB.

But with the law stating that any such claim has to be brought within three months of the termination of employment, Holder and Dawood were always unlikely to prevail. Dawood was last on the ECB’s reserve umpire list in 2014; Holder’s last game was in 2009. They reasoned, however, that by bringing the case they could highlight the issues they had faced and hoped they may win an exemption on the basis of public interest.

At a mediation meeting a week ago, offered by the ECB at the umpires’ request, it is understood the ECB offered an acknowledgement that they had fallen short of the standards they set themselves. They stopped short of an apology, however, and no compensation was offered. Both Holder and Dawood rejected the ‘acknowledgement’ and what they described as the “token roles” they were offered and declined to sign any non-disclosure agreement.

Holder and Dawood subsequently withdrew their employment claim as pursuing it further could have exposed them to a claim for costs from the ECB. Their claim to the Equality and Human Rights Commission remains open, however, and ECB comments made to the BBC which they believe misrepresented the situation have left them incensed. Indeed, it is understood Holder emailed Neil Snowball, the managing director of county cricket, and withdrew his offer of working with the ECB.

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