ICC suspends umpires accused of spot-fixing

ICC suspends umpires accused of spot-fixing.The International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided to suspended all six umpires accused of spot-fixing by an Indian tv channel on Wednesday.

“The International Cricket Council (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 pending the outcome of the ongoing investigations into the allegations made,” the governing body said in a statement.

“The officials named are not contracted by the ICC and those Boards who employ and nominate the umpires directly will conduct the investigations as a matter of urgency,” it added.

An Indian private television channel, on October 8, aired a video and published a report on its website, where it claims to have carried out a sting operation revealing the involvement of umpires from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in match-fixing.

Footage screened on the Hindi-language India TV on Monday showed what the news channel said was officials from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka negotiating deals with under-cover reporters to affect the outcome of matches.

Pakistan’s Nadeem Ghauri and Anees Siddiqui, Nadir Shah of Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka’s Gamini Dissanayake, Maurice Winston and Sagara Gallage were all seen agreeing to give favourable decisions in exchange for umpiring contracts and money.

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.

The ICC and the cricket boards of Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh have agreed not to appoint any of the umpires named in the sting operation, recently conducted by India TV, for domestic or international matches pending the outcome of the investigations alleging that the umpires had agreed to accept money to give decisions favouring certain players.

The sting named six umpires: Nadir Shah (Bangladesh), Nadeem Ghauri and Anis Siddiqui (Pakistan), and Sagara Gallage, Maurice Winston Zilwa and Gamini Dissanayake (Sri Lanka). All have, in various media interviews, denied their involvement in match-fixing.

In its statement on Wednesday, the ICC said that the umpires named were not contracted by them and so it was the responsibility of the respective cricket boards to conduct the investigations urgently.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had confirmed on Tuesday that both boards had begun investigations into the allegations. The Bangladesh Cricket Board said it was taking the issue ‘very seriously’, adding that there would be an inquiry committee.

The ICC is known to have asked India TV to share the tapes of the undercover operation so that the tapes may be examined by its anti-corruption unit and also studied by member boards in order to understand the content of the sting operation and the context in which all statements were said to be made. The tapes seen on TV on Monday night established that the two umpires who had been linked with two World T20 practice matches, did not officiate in any capacity in those matches, either on or off the field.

In the sting, conducted through July and August, the reporters claimed to belong to a sports management company and promised the umpires officiating assignments in events of all kinds around the world, largely domestic Twenty20 leagues. The reporters, who worked undercover, carried out the sting mainly through interviews and conversations via Skype, an internet videophone service.

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