No matches for cricket umpires under review

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Old 10-Oct-2012
No matches for cricket umpires under review

UNP Image Colombo: The umpires implicated in a match-fixing sting on India TV this week have been sidelined from any domestic or international matches pending investigations into the allegations, as the scandal drags into a third day.

The International Cricket Council released a statement on Wednesday saying the umpires identified in the sting are not contracted by the ICC and that those national boards who employ and nominate the umpires directly — Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh — had agreed not to appoint them to any matches while their investigations continued.

“They (PCB) asked me about fixing stuff, but I had nothing to say on the topic. They asked me to come to India and be part of their TV shows”

Nadeem Ghauri

The ICC launched an “urgent investigation” on Monday following allegations by India TV that purportedly exposed six international level umpires as corrupt. The ICC said none of the six officiated in any official matches at the World Twenty20 which finished on Sunday and was won by West Indies. The umpires have denied the allegations.

The ICC has also asked the TV station to hand over any evidence and documentation for its investigation, adding it “re-iterates its zero-tolerance toward corruption whether alleged against players or officials.”

India TV said three of the umpires agreed to give favourable decisions, including in a warm-up match for the World Twenty20. Another was filmed in the sting — called “Operation World Cup” — promising to “revolt” against Sri Lankan cricket, and the fifth official was willing to ensure decisions would be given in favour of India. It is not clear what tournament or matches the two umpires were referring to.

The sixth umpire reportedly shared the pitch and toss reports as well as playing line-ups for the warm-up match between England and Australia on September 17 in exchange for 50,000 rupees (Dh3,459), according to India TV. A seventh umpire, from Bangladesh, was approached but refused to cooperate.

The story was still making headlines in Bangladesh on Wednesday, and across the cricket world.

Bangladesh umpire Nadir Shah, who is in India on personal business, was implicated in the sting but has denied any wrongdoing.

The largest circulating Bengali-language newspaper, Prothom Alo, on Wednesday carried the headline “Nadir says all rubbish.”

“It is absolute rubbish,” Shah had earlier told the British Broadcasting Corporation. “These are absolutely baseless allegations. I am not taking these into my ears.

Pakistani umpire Nadeem Ghauri admitted he was approached, but denied any wrongdoing and said he’d already spoken to the Pakistan Cricket Board about the contact.

“They asked me about fixing stuff, but I had nothing to say on the topic. They asked me to come to India and be part of their TV shows,” Ghauri told reporters in Lahore on Tuesday. “I have submitted all details to the PCB about my communication with the caller in India. “

Ghauri broke off contact with the undercover reporters from India TV after he was told by a friend in India that the approach came from a fake company and he was forced to communicate via Skype.

“I asked them, on the direction of the PCB, to write me officially about the offer and details of the contract, then we will be able to make a decision,” he said.

“They didn’t agree, they asked me to come to India to negotiate contract, which wasn’t possible due to the visa process. “

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