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Umpires hit back as officials investigate corruption claims

Published Oct 09, 2012 07:10am


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icc umpires, matchfixing, cricket matchfixing, umpire fixing, pakistani umpire, umpire fixing
ICC umpires have been named in the alleged match-fixing sting by an Indian television channel. — File photo by Reuters

COLOMBO: Umpires at the centre of bribery claims denied, on Tuesday, that they were willing to fix matches for cash as cricket authorities announced an urgent probe into the allegations aired in a television sting.

An undercover investigation by the private India TV channel allegedly found six umpires, including one on the international circuit, were willing to give decisions or provide inside information on teams and playing conditions in return for illicit payments.

The accusations were broadcast only a day after the West Indies’ victory over hosts Sri Lanka in the final of the World Twenty20 tournament, quickly souring the atmosphere after one of the game’s premier events.

None of the umpires was involved in the tournament.

The International Cricket Council called on India TV “to turn over any information which can assist the ICC’s urgent investigations into this matter”.

“The ICC reiterates its zero tolerance towards corruption whether alleged against players or officials,” the organisation said in a statement.

Three of those named were from Sri Lanka, while two were from Pakistan. The sixth was Nadir Shah, one of two Bangladeshi members of the ICC’s international panel which officiates in matches around the world.

Grainy footage appeared to show Shah, who has stood in 40 one-day internationals and a number of Twenty20 internationals, saying he was willing to give decisions on demand.

An India TV transcript of the sting said Shah allegedly offered to give biased LBW (leg before wicket), run-out and inside-edge verdicts.

“If the umpire is shown a favour, the umpire can do anything,” Shah was quoted as saying in the transcript.

The video does not show any cash being exchanged nor did the channel broadcast any proof of the umpires delivering decisions or information.

Shah said any suggestion he was open to bribery was “absolutely rubbish”.

“If I am going to fix match, I will be caught some day by the ICC... no umpire fixes matches,” he told the Press Trust of India news agency.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) pledged to investigate the claims.

“The BCB has a zero-tolerance policy to issues related to corruption in the game and is committed to holding a thorough inquiry,” it said in a statement.

The Pakistan Cricket Board said it was gathering information and was in contact with the ICC. “We have zero tolerance towards corruption,” said spokesman Nadeem Sarwar.

Pakistan umpire Nadeem Ghouri, another of those named, denied any involvement. “I am surprised at these baseless allegations,” he told AFP, saying he would consult his lawyers.

Ghouri has umpired in Test matches and dozens of limited-over internationals, although he is no longer part of the ICC panel.

Sri Lanka cricket authorities on Tuesday considered suspending their three local umpires, but delayed a final decision pending a report from the ICC, A.R.M. Aroos, chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket umpires’ committee, told AFP.

“We have looked at the tapes. We have got written submissions from the umpires. The next step would be a suspension and a preliminary inquiry, but we decided to await a report from the ICC,” Aroos said.

Gamini Dissanayake, one of three Sri Lankans to be named, told the Colombo-based Daily Mirror the allegation was a “fabrication”.

“Obviously this is an attempt at mudslinging,” he told the daily.

India TV chairman Rajat Sharma told AFP his channel would cooperate with the International Cricket Council in investigating the scandal.

“Of course we will give the entire unedited tape to anyone who is enquiring this,” Sharma said.

“We would cooperate with the ICC.”

Three Pakistani cricketers were last year jailed in Britain after being found guilty of spot-fixing following a newspaper sting.

Shah was among the umpires at the inaugural Bangladesh Premier League earlier this year, a local version of India’s IPL Twenty20 tournament.

The competition was marred by corruption allegations and ended up with former Bangladeshi international Shariful Haque being indefinitely banned.


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Comments (39) Closed

Syed J Oct 09, 2012 06:31pm
Why don't these TV channels expose the root of betting, because they are affaid of crime mafia operating from Mombey.
shaukat basit Oct 10, 2012 02:21am
Yes it pointed out biased investigation. Tell me why the Indian were not included in that operation, yeh I forgot they all angels. ha...ha...ha
deva Oct 09, 2012 11:42am
They were not part of T20
Raw is War Oct 09, 2012 05:29pm
Rohit Oct 09, 2012 11:50am
Friend, no Indian umpires were there in WT20 or SLPL, the events covered by the sting operation. But what really is your point, that the news report cannot be considered credible since no Indian has been named!!! Wake up friend, cheats have no nationality. The umpires who are willing to sell themselves are bad for the integrity of the game, and should be dealt strictly. We should be glad that media has been able to bring this to light.
guest62 Oct 09, 2012 07:51am
Where there is a Smoke there ought to be a lingering Fire about to burst out . Let ICC appoint an independent Jury to probe and bring the Smoking Gun out . On the face of it , its a payback to the Two Countries ( instrumental in ousting the Indians Out of the T20 world cup , Would be the usual mantra to be taken up by the SL and Pak fans ! ) BUT once again , the problem in London was also a sting operation which un earthed the reality about the Corrupt Cricketers (who denied of doing any thing wrong and their board also supported them in the first instance ! ) So The Umpires in the same game are not Immortals though they dress up in Whites ! so let us also be told what have they been covering under those white coats , Dirt rotten or distinguished body ? Once again 2 Pakistani are accused of being involved , I hope the board will let the matter sorted out by an independent jury
Ahmed Rashid Oct 09, 2012 10:18pm
I'm surprised the umpire who gave a useless bowler like anil kumble his 10 wickets isnt in the list
Ali Vaqar Awan Oct 09, 2012 10:22pm
Totally baseless allegations placed by India Tv. It lacks credible source to prove who is involved or not. They must better mind thier own business rather than pointing fingers at other.
Yasin Khan Oct 09, 2012 12:08pm
neither were these umpires deva
Syed Oct 09, 2012 09:16pm
Joke of the day,
Irfan Oct 09, 2012 03:17pm
"We should be glad that media has been able to bring this to light" This is only tru if media's reporting is credible Rohit and that, we will find out when ICC conducts its investigation.
Humait Oct 09, 2012 02:13pm
Maybe they should go check the IPL..or is its FIX so blatant there's no point??
C Bhattacharya, INDIA Oct 09, 2012 03:04pm
Agreed that the TV sting operation apparently may not look like establishing any prima facie.. The fact that the umpires were naive enough to divulge some of the areas where umpiring decisions could be tempered with ( for fixing purposes) show that all is not well in the umpiring fraternity...Let us not bring in nationalities into question...Also for Paki brothers and sisters, let me tell one thing, in Aleem Dar and Asad Rouf, you have two of the best umpires in the world at present...
Shrish Oct 09, 2012 04:08pm
Going by comments from some Pakistani fans, I would request to read and understand the information provided. Like always they appear to be suffering from an over active imagination and being accusatory without any valid reason. The sting operation does not in anyway discredit the results of the recent T20 WC matches. It is not about players, it is about umpires. These umpires never stood in any of the WC matches. So where is the question of any wrongdoing ? The same channel had done a sting operation during IPL and as a result 2 players were banned. Additionally, it is not that all Indians are honest and clean. Some of Indian players were found guilty and they never played for India again. So dont get unnecessarily charged up and start your favourite ptime pass activity which is fabricating conspiracy theories. So if in the sting operations, there was no Indian it is just a coincidence. It is a private channel. Indians were livid at our players when team India was routed in Australia and England. No former crickter or board official hinted at match fixing. On the otherside, Pakistanis never admit defeat and try to discredit the contest. Loss to India at Mohali in last WC is an example. They should welcome this operation and demand a probe rather than discovering a conspiracy within conspiracy.
Rahul Oct 09, 2012 04:08pm
You have no knowledge about Indian cricket. We are World Champions of ODI 83, 2011 and T20 in 2007. If we failed in one or two world cup it is no big issue in India. It is your country which is biggest headache in world cricket and religion.
Mandeep Oct 09, 2012 09:57pm
Sting operation is not about T20 WC or players or umpires who participated in that WC. First know the facts, before shooting from the hip. What is shameful about it ? People are free to court against these channels. Pakistanis are the one who always allege match fixing after loosing every match so you should welcome it. If you think others are involved, why dont your channels carry out string operations.
Saad Oct 09, 2012 10:51am
and interestingly there is no indian umpire involved???? are they very honest????
observer Oct 09, 2012 11:26am
Let us remember that players spot-fixing things can be believed because players can influence the events directly. What umpires would do is to rule on an event after it has taken place. Very little liberty or very less information to sell at any serious price.
Jawwad Oct 09, 2012 02:23pm
The sting operation tactfully absolves Indian Umpires from being investigated/bribed in similar fashion. LOL. What a mockery! Sherlock Holmes would be proud today. Let it go India. Stop pulling this childish stings that revolves around your enemies only.
nayyar51 Oct 09, 2012 06:16pm
ICC Must Inquire the Role of BCCI in Cricket Match Fixing Now, this umpiring scandal duly exposed by India TV sting operation, at least proves one thing without any shadow of doubt; that Indian Cricket Board (BCCI Board of Control for Cash in India), was forced by Indian match fixing mafia, to veto in ICC, the UDRS application. This lone Indian veto, increased the chances of match fixing, through un-scrupulous umpires without having to depend heavily on so many players. Since, the cat is out of the bag, ICC must inquire the role of BCCI, in benefitting from all types of cricket matches in India and abroad being played without UDRS.
LOC1947 Oct 10, 2012 10:16am
well said bro..
Talha Oct 10, 2012 02:40am
India does not give birth to umpires any more because this job requires integrity. India has many more things to do. You know what I mean, gambling. India is one of the biggest gambling hubs and that is the purpose of IPL as well which is supported by BCCI.
yasir Oct 09, 2012 08:32am
well time will tell if these allegations are mudslinging or real facts but as a cricket lover i feel its not good for cricket rather its disgusting...
Ravi Kumar Oct 10, 2012 06:55am
The string operation by 'India TV' was just just a desperate measure by lowly channel for its own popularity & TRP mileage.
Ahmed Sultan (India) Oct 10, 2012 06:36am
I am an Indian but trust the news channel in question is one of the worst channels in the entire history of mankind. They show news like withches are planning to do a coup in New Delhi. Its a pvt news channel and it can freely do whatever it wants. this is not the first time India got out from any tournament early, India as a country has nothing to do with this news channel. Its just a cheap attempt by pvt channel to get TRP. We are fed up of these news channels (they are numerous) and trust me if they say that sun rises from east do get early and check it once again sun might have started rising from somewhere else. I request my friends from pakistan to see ndtv or cnn-ibn if they want to see Indian media. No Indian umpire is involved because there was no Indian umpire in world T20 or SLPL.
C Bhattacharya, INDIA Oct 10, 2012 06:00am
Dear All Dawn readers, let us not restrict our thought process to guided by a narrow nationalistic outlook. It may be an Indian Channel...But it is trying to unearth something which has more dangerous portents than players fixing matches.. Let there be independent investigation by respective boards apart from the ICC-ACU probe. Truth will come out.. Let there be no deriding be it of media or of nations...
Faisal Mir (@faisalashraf25) Oct 09, 2012 07:36am
i saw the sting operation on tv honestly the tv channel claiming it, is the worst news channel being aired probably anywhere in the whole world its called indiatv. moreover there was nothing outrageously wrong in whatever the umpire shared with the media. pitch report and toss that any 1 sitting in the ground can provide before it is broadcasted.
Asif Kashmiri Oct 09, 2012 01:10pm
Shame on you Indian Media and S.raina. very childish ...
Syed Oct 10, 2012 05:57am
Is n't that ironic that this channel could not catch a single corrupt umpire in the world's most corrupted cricket structure.
manoj Oct 10, 2012 03:53am
Shakil bhai, There were no Indian umpires in the T20 World Cup. So they did not face a sting operation. Baat bas itni si hai.
Azhar Chaudhry Oct 10, 2012 03:26am
Indian media is the worst and the most ugly of its kind in airing false masala news.
Kuldeep Sharma Oct 10, 2012 03:11am
Its not about loss. Because we did not lose to you but against OZ. I doubt if you have gone through the original and full content or footage fact of these string operation. These sting operations had already been performed even before the first official match of World Cup started. So, how come that India can not digest just one loss when Indians have already swallowed and digested 8-0 direct loss on foreign soil in test. In England we did not win a single game. By the way, the same INDIA TV criticized Dhoni for feigning for the loss against England (as he blamed weather, injuries etc) and praised Pakistan team when you guys clean swept against England (with special Show ). And what did we lose to those Indian players who were found guilty in IPL and subsequently they were banned for 3 to 4 years. The same INDIA TV performed those sting operation too in IPL. Doesn't matter who did it, but the fact of the matter if any one is found guilty of breaching any ICC code of conduct, should be penalized accordingly for the safeguard of Cricket
Shakil Oct 09, 2012 11:19am
Early Exit from the WC left a lot of extra curricular activities for Indian media. A shameful practice to market their channel.
K Khan Oct 09, 2012 06:47pm
Why not ICC investigate about Fixing of WC2011 by India? Why not ICC link banning of Pak players before WC2011 and find any link of Indian involvement?
Ghalib Khan Oct 09, 2012 07:42am
Indians just cannot digest a loss
Mohammad Raza Oct 09, 2012 07:18pm
Interesting factor - all the corruption starts in the eland of angles, India. No one is ever touched there. ICC needs to go clean the roots of corruption which is spread all over in the streets of India. Regardless of whoever becomes the instrument of corruption, the actual drivers are sitting in India. BCCI/ICC do not want to do any thing regarding this because India is fly high these days. History has proved, there will be time when the air will be low and these kind of things will fall down to earth. Just a matter of wait.
Mobeen Oct 09, 2012 09:14am
The sting operation doesn't seem to prove anything related to an ICC event. Some reporters from a TV channel have managed to cast a doubt on the integrity of some poor unemployed umpires on the periphery of International cricket. Kind of odd that no Indian umpire made the list, but then they have always had higher ethical and moral standards then the rest of us.
Farrukh Mirza (A Muslim) Oct 09, 2012 07:51pm
Rohit, your sentiments are valid if the allegations turn out to be factual. Please tell us your honest opinion of the course that we the fans of cricket and ICC should take if all this is found to be nothing but fabriation..?? Why is Indian media so keen to run sting operatrion on cricket only.....I am sure there are much more important issues that effact Indian public where such detection of corruption would be a lot more meaningful and helpful.
shuaib Oct 09, 2012 08:19am
pathetic display by the indians after losing T20 campaign. I would not use ground of the comments of s.raina (aka nephew/niece) in response to this piece of writing but who so ever has read that tweet, must be thinking that the "besharam" is actually indian media. indian media should rather start postmortum of raina's comments, had there been guts and courage.