Hair 'not surprised' at umpires allegedly caught over bribe claims

Sydney, Oct 9 (ANI): Retired Australian cricket umpire Darrell Hair has said he's not surprised at some current umpires allegedly being caught taking bribes.

The International Cricket Council has launched an "urgent investigation" into claims by an Indian television station that several umpires were willing to fix matches for money.

In a major sting operation carried out in July, August and September ahead of the recently concluded ICC World Cup T20 tournament, India TV undercover reporters exposed six ICC umpires, belonging to Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh, willing to fix matches for money during T20 matches.

The six umpires who were exposed in the sting named "Operation World Cup" are: Nadeem Ghauri and Anees Siddiqui of Pakistan, Nadir Shah of Bangaldesh, and Gamini Dissanayake, Maurice Winston and Sagara Gallage of Sri Lanka. The seventh umpire Sharfudoullah Shahid Saikat of Bangladesh refused to give any favour in lieu of money.

"I was wondering how long it would take before some umpire did some stupid things. There have been rumours going around for ages, since the IPL started, that umpires were involved," Hair told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"It all comes down to two things: opportunity and greed. If you're the type of person and you're given the opportunity, the greedy part of you will say, 'Yeah, I'm in'."

The ICC said none of the six umpires - three from Sri Lanka, two from Pakistan and one from Bangladesh - officiated in the T20 World Cup.

Hair, an international umpire for 16 years until he resigned in 2008, wasn't shocked by the allegations.

He said: "In my whole career, there had always been word that certain umpires were on the take here or there. But to be fair, all the guys I umpired with at international level I think were pretty much above board.

"But I don't doubt that there have been others around, probably in a lesser environment, trying to make a quick buck. ...People like that have just got no bloody morals or values about the game."

After retiring, Hair was executive officer at the NSW Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association until last year. (ANI)

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