ICC launches probe after match-fixing allegations

The TV station on Monday broadcast footage of a sting operation, undertaken by undercover reporters in July, August and September, that purportedly exposes six international-level umpires from Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The ICC said none of the six officiated in any official matches at the World Twenty20 which finished on Sunday and was won by West Indies.

"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 toward 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 reportedly 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, according to India TV.

A seventh umpire, from Bangladesh, was approached but refused to cooperate. One of the umpires identified played one test match for Pakistan and has been officiated in five test matches.

Video clips of the interviews conducted by undercover reporters with umpires, mostly conducted over Skype voice and webcam calls, were still featured on India TV's website on Tuesday.

Denied allegations
Press Trust of India reported the umpires involved denied the allegations, while the Bangladesh Cricket Board issued a statement saying the allegations would be part of a detailed inquiry.

Prominent cricket website, ESPNCricinfo, reported that it was contacted in August by two of the umpires implicated in the India TV sting. Cricinfo reported the officials said they had the impression of being offered generous umpiring deals for an "upcoming" private tournament. The umpires said they were in discussions with a sports management company, and one of them said he suspected the bonafides of the company.

The latest 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. Those allegations surfaced in a sting by a London a tabloid newspaper.

The trio were later convicted of conspiring with an agent, Mazhar Majeed, to ensure the delivery of deliberate no-balls. Butt received 2 and a half years, Asif was sentenced to one year and the then 19-year-old Amir six months.

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. – Sapa-AP

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Q&A Sessions: Marcia Mayaba —Driven to open doors for women

Marcia Mayaba has been in the motor industry for 24 years, donning hats that include receptionist, driver, fuel attendant, dealer principal and now chief...

ANC’s rotten apples on the chopping block

Now that the NEC has finalised its step-aside guidelines for those facing corruption charges, a swathe of officials will struggle to cling to their positions

More top stories

State rejects pyramid-schemer’s plea: ‘I stole the money, and plead...

The state has rejected fraudster Roderick Cole-Edwards’ guilty plea for R11.6-million pyramid-scheme theft

Hot topic: Is crypto’s climate cost higher than its value?

The recent blockchain boom has been followed by concerns over its impact on the environment

The plight of the ‘missing middle’ is no joke, Nzimande

Parents who, on paper, look like they can afford to pay their children’s university fees often can’t. They also miss out on funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

More ethnically diverse bone marrow donors needed to save lives

The myth that regenerative stem cells are body parts has led to donor reluctance
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…