Pak bans two umpires over spot-fixing charges after Indian TV sting

Sydney: Pakistan cricket authorities have suspended two umpires, including one international, after they were found guilty of being willing to spot-fix in return for money, in a sting operation carried out by a private Indian TV channel.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) suspended Nadeem Ghauri, who stood in five Tests, 43 one-day and four Twenty20 internationals, for four years, while domestic first-class umpire Anis Siddiqui received a three year penalty.

The report further said that the PCB announced the measures after the channel, India TV, aired footage in October 2012 in which a number of umpires faced questions from undercover reporters asking if they would give decisions in return for cash.

The PCB stated that Ghauri had been given a longer punishment as he straight away agreed to extend undue favours for material gains in the sting, although the board noted that Siddiqui had resisted the demands initially before finally conceding to the undercover reporters on their persistence.

Stating that the decision reiterated the board`s commitment to keep cricket free of all corrupt practices, the PCB further said that it had undertaken a rigorous investigation before coming to its decision, adding that the committee had obtained unedited video footage from the India TV along with all relevant evidence available with the International Cricket Council (ICC).

However, Ghauri dismissed the charges against him, saying that the suspension had left him shocked, adding that he will consult lawyers and friends before taking the next step.

The allegations were broadcast only days after the final of the World Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka.

The umpires caught up in the sting included the two from Pakistan, three from Sri Lanka and Nadir Shah of Bangladesh.