ICC suspends umpires pending inquiry
Six umpires accused of corruption will not be selected to officiate by the ICC until allegations made by an Indian television news channel have been investigated.
India TV named six officials it claimed were willing to fix matches for money in the build-up to the World Twenty20, leading the ICC to confirm they were urgently looking into the matter and prompting three of the accused to deny the accusations.
But this morning (Wednesday) the ICC confirmed that none of the implicated officials would be considered for upcoming matches while an investigation is under way.
"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."
Bangladeshi umpire Nadir Shah had earlier rejected the allegations, telling the BBC: "It is absolute rubbish.
"These people are setting up these things. Telling whatever they feel like. Once we knew that these people are crooked we backed out.
"I didn't know it was a sting operation. Once I found out that these people are trying to fix matches I just backed out and left."
None of the umpires named by the TV station officiated in the World Twenty20.
Sri Lankan official Maurice Zilva echoed Shah's denial, telling the BBC: "All I have to say is that we are innocent of all these charges."
Compatriot Gamini Dissanayake was quoted by the Times of India as saying: "I reject all allegations. This is an attack on the entire Sri Lankan umpiring fraternity by an external force."
However, Rajat Sharma, chairman and editor-in chief of India TV, stood by the channel's expose and said it was open to any inquiry or public scrutiny of their journalistic work if the authenticity of the tapes is in question.
The fact that the umpires were willing to do a "criminal" thing is unfair to cricket, Sharma said.
According to the channel, Shah offered to give decisions like "out", "not out" in any format of the game. He has officiated in 40-plus ODIs, six Test matches as TV umpire and three Tests as reserve umpire.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka Cricket chief executive, Ajith Jayasekara, said that they are studying the tapes of the sting operation and the local anti-corruption unit will work with the ICC in the investigations.