Cricket: Six umpires suspended pending corruption probe
SIX umpires accused of corruption will not be selected to officiate by the International Cricket Council until allegations made by an Indian television news channel have been investigated fully.
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 the ICC confirmed that none of the implicated officials would be considered for upcoming matches while an investigation is under way.
An ICC statement read: "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 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."
It is not the first controversy to hit cricket in recent years.
Pakistan internationals Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were jailed in 2011 after being found guilty of bowling deliberate no-balls in a Test match.
In June this year Danish Kaneria was handed a life suspension and labelled "a grave danger to the game of cricket" by the England and Wales Cricket Board after being found guilty of two charges of ECB regulations.
Kaneria's former Essex team-mate Mervyn Westfield, who in February was sentenced to four months in prison after admitting a spot-fixing charge at the Old Bailey, was given a five-year ban after pleading guilty to one offence.