Cricket: Investigation Reveals Corrupt Umpires

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Cricket: Investigation Reveals Corrupt Umpires
Accused Umpire, Nadir Shah (Photo Cred: http://www.sportinglife.com/cricket/news/article/615/8154042/icc-suspend-umpires)

An undercover operation by the private channel, IndiaTV, has revealed spot-fixing by six international umpires in exchange for money.

The six umpires identified as Nadeem Ghauri and Anees Siddiqui of Pakistan, Nadir Shah from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka's Gamini Dissanayake, Maurice Winston and Sagara Gallage were caught agreeing via Skype to provide biased decisions in return for monetary compensation.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has reacted swiftly by placing each of the umpires on immediate suspension while conducting the investigation, in an effort to clean up a sport that has constantly been plagued by match fixing and government politics interfering with play on the field. However, the ICC cannot solely take matters into its own hands, as each umpire is employed by the board of their respective country.

The ICC addressed that fact by stating "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."

The Sri Lankan and Pakistani Cricket Boards have confirmed they have begun their probes, while the Bangladesh Board has gone on the record saying there will be in inquiry committee in this serious matter.

The sting, conducted throughout July and August of this year, captured umpires "allegedly offered to give incorrect LBW (leg before wicket), run-out and inside-edge verdicts" and one was quoted saying, "If the umpire is shown a favor, the umpire can do anything."

Of course the umpires themselves, none of whom officiated in the recent ICC Twenty20, have profusely declared their innocence. With the India TV chairman, Rajat Sharma, ready to fully cooperate with ICC investigators, the hard evidence will be hard to fight.

If the allegations are indeed true, then the sport will have suffered another blow, but it will also be a necessary first step to root out the corruption on a wider scale and clean up the sport that billions love once and for all.

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