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The former Test umpire John Holder is suing the England and Wales Cricket Board for alleged racial discrimination. Holder lodged his claim at the London central office of the employment tribunal two days before Christmas, the Guardian can reveal.

Holder is the most notable Black British umpire in English cricket. The legal action against the ECB relates to his employment as a first‑class umpire between 1983 and 2009. Holder umpired in 11 Tests but was dropped from the ECB’s Test match list in 1991, a few weeks after he reported an incident of alleged ball-tampering by an England player in the Ashes Test at the Oval.

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