ICC launches 'urgent investigation' over allegations of fixing by umpires
New Delhi: The International Cricket Council launched an "urgent investigation" on Monday following allegations by an Indian television station that several umpires were willing to fix matches for money.
India TV broadcast footage of a sting operation, undertaken by reporters in August and September, that exposes six ICC umpires from Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The ICC said none of the six officiated in any matches at the World Twenty20 that finished on Sunday.
"The ICC and its relevant members have been made aware of the allegations made by India TV this evening and calls on the station to turn over any information which can assist the ICC`s urgent investigations into this matter," the ICC said in a statement.
"The ICC reiterates its zero-tolerance towards corruption whether alleged against players or officials."
India TV identified the umpires in the sting and said three of them agreed to give favourable decisions, including in warm-up matches for the World Twenty20.
Another was filmed in the sting - called "Operation World Cup" - promising to "revolt" against Sri Lankan cricket, and the fifth official was willing to ensure decisions would be given in favour of India. It is not clear what tournament or matches the two umpires were referring to.
The sixth umpire shared the pitch and toss reports as well as playing line-ups for the warm-up match between England and Australia on September 17 in exchange for 50,000 rupees (USD A932), according to India TV.
A seventh umpire, from Bangladesh, was approached but refused to co-operate.
The allegations come almost a year after Pakistan players Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were jailed for their roles in a betting scam during a Test series against England in 2010.
They were convicted of conspiring with an agent, Mazhar Majeed, to ensure the delivery of deliberate no-balls.
That was the biggest fixing scandal in the sport since South Africa captain Hansie Cronje was banned for life in 2000 for taking bribes from bookmakers.
Another Pakistani player, Danish Kaneria, was banned for life by the England and Wales Cricket Board in June for corruption in a fixing case in English county cricket that also involved local player Mervyn Westfield.