Accused umpires rubbish match-fixing claims

Last Updated: Tue, Oct 09, 2012 11:25 hrs

Umpires from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka who are at the centre of a match-fixing scandal have denied they were willing to fix matches, even as cricket authorities announced an urgent probe into the allegations aired by an Indian television channel.

An undercover investigation by the channel allegedly revealed footage of Pakistan's Nadeem Ghauri, Nadir Shah of Bangladesh, part of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) international panel of umpires, and Sagara Gallage of Sri Lanka agreeing to give favourable decisions in exchange for umpiring contracts and money, reports The Dawn.

Three of those named were from Sri Lanka, while two were from Pakistan.

Grainy footage appeared to show Shah, who has stood in 40 one-day internationals and a number of Twenty20 internationals, say he was willing to give LBW decisions on demand.

The video does not show any cash being exchanged nor did the channel broadcast any proof of the umpires delivering decisions or information.

Shah said any suggestion that he was open to bribery was "absolutely rubbish".

"If I am going to fix match, I will be caught some day by the ICC... No umpire fixes matches," Shah was quoted, as saying.

Pakistan umpire Nadeem Ghouri also denied any involvement, and termed the accusations as "baseless allegations".

Meanwhile Gamini Dissanayake, one of three Sri Lankans to be named, said the allegation was a "fabrication".

"It is shocking how our names have been linked to this. Obviously this is an attempt at mudslinging," he said.

The International Cricket Council reacted by calling on India TV "to turn over any information which can assist the ICC's urgent investigations into this matter".

"The ICC reiterates its zero-tolerance towards corruption whether alleged against players or officials," an ICC statement said.

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