National-level umpire suspended

The Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) on Friday suspended national-level umpire, Somnath Jha, after a sting operation showed him agreeing to favour a particular team.

BCCI vice-president, Rajiv Shukla, has sought the tapes 'implicating' the umpire from the channel.

Acting swiftly, the JSCA withdrew the umpire from the Jharkhand Premier League (JPL), a five-team T20 event, which has top-notch cricketers like Saurabh Tiwari, Ishank Jaggi, Shahbaz Nadeem and Mihir Diwakar playing in the tournament.

The teams participating in the tournament are Dhanbad Diamonds, Jamshedpur Jaanbaaz, Bokaro Bulls, Ranchi Rangers and Singhbhum Shers.

The JPL, which began on March 13 and concludes on Saturday, has a winners' purse is Rs 5 lakh and a runners-up award of Rs 3 lakh.

It has been learnt that the channel showed footage of a private competition in Delhi where Jha and a national-level umpire from Bihar are seen agreeing to favour a team. Jha was included in the BCCI umpires' panel in 2008.

"He will not be officiating in any JSCA competition and he has also been removed from the JPL till we get a clear-cut directive from the BCCI," said Rajesh Verma, secretary JSCA.

Terming it a disturbing development, Niranjan Shah, the BCCI umpires sub-committee chairman, said he would be holding a meeting soon to decide the future course of action.

 

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