Sri Lankan umpires in match fixing controversy

In a major sting operation carried out in July, August and September ahead of the recently concluded ICC World Cup T20 tournament, India TV undercover reporters exposed six ICC umpires, belonging to Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh, willing to fix matches for money during T20 matches.

The entire sting operation was telecast on Monday prime time by India TV.

The six umpires who were exposed in the sting named “Operation World Cup” are : Nadeem Ghauri and Anees Siddiqui of Pakistan, Nadir Shah of Bangaldesh, and Gamini Dissanayake, Maurice Winston and Sagara Gallage of Sri Lanka.

The seventh umpire Sharfudoullah Shahid Saikat of Bangladesh refused to give any favour in lieu of money.

Sting No. 1: Bangladesh umpire Nadir Shah told the India TV undercover reporter that he was ready to fix any match – whether international, county or legaue matches.

Nadir Shah offered to give decisions like “out”, “not out” in any format of the game. He has officiated in 40-plus one-day internationals, six test matches as TV umpire and three tests as reserve umpire.

Nadir Shah also revealed on hidden camera that Pakistan’s opening batsman Nasir Jamshed ‘fixed’ several matches during the Bangladesh Premier League. He also said, umpires from Bangladesh are always ready to ‘help’ their country’s cricketers.

Sting No. 2: Sri Lankan premier panel umpire Sagara Gallage was the fourth umpire at the crucial India-Pakistan T20 World Cup match on Sept 17. For a payment of Rs 50,000, Sagara agreed to reveal the match pitch report, weather report, toss report, and even the playing elevens of both teams.

Galage promised to give Pak batsman Imran Nazir out, even if he was not out, in exchange of money in Sri Lankan Premier League.

Galage even promised the undercover reporter to get a decision made in favour of India in course of the match by ‘managing’ the match referee and other officials.

Sting No.3: Pakistan’s ICC international panel umpire Nadeem Ghauri also agreed to help Team India in all manners. As quid pro quo, he agreed to take all amounts underhand in “black”. Nadeem Ghauri has stood in 43 ODIs, 14 test matches and four T20 matches. He promised to do any kind of favour for any player in umpiring.

Sting No.4: Sri Lankan’s premier panel umpire Maurice Winston Dela Zilwa’s name was recommended by another Sri Lankan umpire Sagara Galade to the India TV undercover reporter. For the crucial T20 world cup match on Sept 17 between Australia and England, Maurice Winston shared the pitch report, toss report and playing elevens of both teams and demanded Rs 50,000 bribe.

He agreed to take the entire amount in ‘black’. Sting No.5: Sri Lankan umpire Gamini Dissanayake went a step ahead. On camera, he promised to ‘revolt’ againt Sri Lankan cricket if given a handsome amount. Gamini told the uncercover India TV reporter that by providing liquor and picnic to Sri Lankan Cricket Board officials, one can get any work done. Gamini’s name was mentioned by Maurice Winston.

Sting No.6: Pakistan’s elite panel umpire Anees Siddiqui was also ready to get a decision in favour of Team India in lieu of money. He told the undercover India TV reporter that he wanted the entire amount in ‘black’. Anees promised that he would manage the Pakistan Cricket Board to accept a decision favourable to India.

Sting No.7: Bangladesh ICC international panel umpire Sharfudoullah Ibne Shahid Saikat was also approached. Hde however refused to give any favour in exchange of money. Yet, like other umpires, he also wanted money in ‘black’ for ‘assignments’.

Two other cricket officials were also exposed during the India TV sting operation.

Stong No.8: Minhazuddin Khan, the media manager of Dhaka Gladiators revealed to India TV undercover reporter that Pakistan’s player Azhar Mehmood had indulged in match-fixing during the Sri Lankan Premier League. He didn’t come to play.

Minhaz also revealed that Pakistani cricketers Shahid Afridi, Rana Naved and Ahmed Shahzad regularly used to take call girls to their rooms straight from after-match parties.

Minhaz also revealed that he and Bangladesh opened Tamil Iqbal often used to go to Dubai and Malaysia for holidays, and used to get money from Bangladesh through ‘hawala’.

Sting No.9: Sandeep Bhammer, the promoter of Sri Lankan Premier League agreed to give sponsorships of all franchises in lieu of US$7,40,000. His franchise Khandurata Warriors also takes part in SLPL. For the sponsorship of his franchise alone, he demanded US$1,20,000 from the India TV undercover reporter, and said this money should be paid to his agent in Mumbai. (India TV)