ICC Suspends Six Umpires Caught Up In India TV Bribery Sting
The Int'l Cricket Council has suspended six umpires from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan "over allegations of corruption" in the build-up to the World Twenty20, according to Josh Burrows of the LONDON TIMES. India TV has broadcast undercover footage "claiming to prove that six officials were willing to fix matches for money" before the event in Sri Lanka. The ICC issued a statement Wednesday confirming that "none would be asked to stand in any matches until the investigations were complete." The statement read, "The International Cricket Council 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" (LONDON TIMES, 10/10). The TNN reported that the cricket boards of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have "launched investigations" into the corruption allegations against the umpires. A Bangladesh Cricket Board spokesperson said, "Like the ICC, we all have zero tolerance against corruption, and if they are found guilty, they will have to face the heat." A Sri Lanka Cricket official said that the board is "studying the tapes of the sting operation." The Pakistan Cricket Board also said that it has launched investigations into the matter. A PCB spokesperson said, "We are in contact with ICC and carrying out a detailed investigation into the matter. We have sought the details involved in the matter" (TNN, 10/10).
UMPIRE PLANNING LEGAL ACTION: The PTI reported that Pakistan umpire Nadeem Ghauri, who was implicated in the TV allegations, 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." Insisting that the video "was fake and had been altered by the channel," Ghauri said that he has met PCB officials and "informed them about his stance on the issue." Ghauri said, "I will take legal action once the board also completes its inquiry" (PTI, 10/10).
UMPIRE BACKS FIXING CLAIMS: The TNN's Partha Bhaduri noted that "no Indian umpire was implicated" in Monday's TV sting. Several Indian umpires have told The Times of India that they are "often asked to favour particular teams or players" during tournaments in Delhi and at state-level age-group events and trials. A Board of Control for Cricket in India level-1 umpire told The Times of India, "Big local tournaments are often fixed through umpires. Some local umpires are known punters. In age-group events, say an under-16 trial match, it's not uncommon for umpires to be given incentives to favour players" (TNN, 10/10).