DHAKA: The Bangladesh Cricket Board on Monday banned international umpire Nadir Shah for 10 years after a sting operation by an Indian TV channel found him apparently willing to fix matches for cash.
Shah announced he would appeal against the decision, saying he had been made a scapegoat, but the move was welcomed by the International Cricket Council as underlining a commitment within the game to root out corruption.
The Bangladeshi board launched an inquiry after the private India TV channel aired footage last October which appeared to show that the 49-year-old Shah was willing to give LBW (leg before wicket) decisions on demand.
While the board did not publish the findings of the inquiry, it said in a statement that Shah "will not be considered for BCB retainership for 10 years".
"During this period he will not be eligible for any assignment under the jurisdiction of the BCB," it added.
Shah, who has stood in 40 one-day internationals and three Twenty20 internationals, was one of six umpires caught in the undercover investigation, including three from Sri Lanka and two from Pakistan.
All of the six were subsequently suspended by their own boards but they have consistently refuted the allegations.
Speaking to AFP after Monday's verdict, Shah said it was "part of conspiracy against me".
"Definitely I'll talk to my lawyer and appeal against the decision," he said.
"It's a decision taken on the basis of TV footage. It's based on casual talk sitting in a room in New Delhi in July 2012.
"Do they have any proof that I've taken money or given any decision in anybody's favour? Is there any record?"
CRICKET'S HALL OF SHAME
A lawyer representing two of the Sri Lankan umpires caught up in the same sting said he was pushing Sri Lanka Cricket for a speedy inquiry.
"We are asking for an independent inquiry," lawyer Prathiba Mahanamahewa, who is acting on behalf of Gamini Dissanayake and Maurice de la Zilwa, told AFP in Colombo.
"You can't act on the basis of this video which we think has been doctored."
Pakistan's board has said an internal inquiry against two of its officials, including former Test umpire Nadeem Ghouri, would be finalised shortly.
The allegations were broadcast only days after the final of the World Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka, knocking some of the gloss off one of the game's premier events.
David Richardson, chief executive of the International Cricket Council (ICC), said the ban on Shah reflected a commitment among the games rulers "to root out corruption from our great sport".
"This decision also reiterates cricket's zero-tolerance approach towards corruption and should serve as a reminder to all stakeholders, be they umpires, players, curators or administrators of the risks and challenges the sport faces," said Richardson.
"We can only beat the corrupters by remaining vigilant and by following the procedures and protocols which are in place."
Shah was among the umpires at the inaugural Bangladesh Premier League last year, a local version of India's high-octane IPL Twenty20 tournament.
The competition was marred by corruption allegations and ended up with former Bangladeshi international Shariful Haque being indefinitely banned.
While ICC anti-corruption officials help to police the IPL, the international game's governing body has expressed concern about other leagues including the Bangladesh tournament.
Cricket has been embroiled in a number of corruption scandals in recent years.
Three Pakistani cricketers, including former captain Salman Butt, were jailed in Britain in 2011 after being found guilty of spot-fixing following a newspaper sting.