Umpires in TV corruption sting suspended



Colombo: Cricket authorities on Wednesday suspended six umpires at the centre of claims by an Indian television programme that they could be bribed to make favourable decisions during games.

An undercover investigation by the private India TV channel allegedly found that the umpires, including one on the international circuit, were willing to give biased decisions or provide inside information in return for payment.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the suspensions after a meeting in Colombo, where the West Indies defeated hosts Sri Lanka in the final of the World Twenty20 tournament on Sunday.

"The ICC 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," it 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.

None of the umpires was involved in the tournament in Sri Lanka. 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 incorrect 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 and the other umpires have rejected the allegations.

Sri Lanka Cricket said on Wednesday they had scheduled a formal hearing with the three local umpires.

"We will officially inform them tomorrow that they are being suspended pending a full investigation," A.R.M. Aroos, the head of Sri Lanka Cricket Umpires' Committee told AFP. "We will hold a formal inquiry."

Also See:

SLC, PCB launch probes in umpiring fixing case
Umpires hit back after corruption claims
Six umpires are on sale, claims a sting operation
ICC launches "urgent investigation" into fixing allegations
I want to eradicate corruption from cricket: Mustafa Kamal

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