The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday suspended the six umpires caught in a television sting, which alleged that they were willing to fix Twenty20 matches, pending the completion of an inquiry against them.
“The International Cricket Council (ICC) and its relevant Full Member Boards have agreed not to appoint any of the umpires named in a sting operation recently conducted by India TV to any domestic or international cricket matches pending the outcome of the ongoing investigations into the allegations made,” the governing body said in a statement.
Matter of urgency
“The officials named are not contracted by the ICC and those Boards who employ and nominate the umpires directly will conduct the investigations as a matter of urgency,” it added.
The channel had shown video clips purportedly taken by their undercover reporters in which the umpires were shown to be allegedly willing to give certain decisions in exchange for money.
Sri Lanka Cricket chief executive Ajith Jayasekara said that they are studying the tapes of the sting operation and the local anti-corruption unit will work with the ICC in the investigations.
The channel showed video clips, purportedly taken by their undercover reporters in which the umpires were shown to be allegedly willing to give certain decisions in exchange for money.
The six umpires, who are purportedly shown in the TV sting willing to fix matches, were Nadeem Ghauri and Anees Siddiqui of Pakistan, Nadir Shah of Bangladesh, and Gamini Dissanayake, Maurice Winston and Sagara Gallage of Sri Lanka.
All of them have denied the allegations, insisting that they were trapped by the channel.
Rajat Sharma, Chairman and Editor-in Chief of India TV, stood by the channel’s expose and said it was open to any inquiry or public scrutiny of their journalistic work if the authenticity of the tapes is in question.
The fact that the umpires were willing to do a “criminal” thing is unfair to cricket, Sharma said.
According to the channel, Shah offered to give decisions like “out”, “not out” in any format of the game.
He has officiated in 40-plus ODIs, six Test matches as TV umpire and three Tests as reserve umpire.
Ghauri agreed to help Team India in all ways. As a quid pro quo, he agreed to take all amounts underhand in “black”.
He has stood in 43 ODIs, 14 Test matches and four T20 matches. Gallage, a Sri Lankan premier panel umpire who was the fourth umpire at India-Pakistan T20 World Cup warm-up match on September 17, agreed to give information on the match pitch report, weather and even the playing elevens of both teams for a payment of Rs. 50,000, according to the channel.
Sting is fake: Ghauri
Lahore: Pakistan’s Nadeem Ghauri is planning to take legal action against the channel after getting the subtle backing of PCB which has “decided against jumping to conclusions”.
Ghauri has been shown speaking about corruption in cricket by umpires on Skype.
But on Tuesday he vehemently denied the allegations and said the video was fake.
Ghauri told reporters in Lahore that he spoke to the undercover reporter, who presented himself as a member of a sports management company, with regard to umpiring in the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL).
“I repeatedly told him that such matters are not discussed on phone,” he said. “I will take legal action once the board also completes its inquiry.”