The New Age, Bangladesh
Country’s senior umpires Nadir Shah and Sharfudowlah Ibne Shahid Saikat along with a Bangladesh Premier League franchise official were exposed by a sting operation of an Indian television channel for their part in cricket’s match-fixing scandal.
Undercover reporters from India TV carried out the operation in July, August and September when they admitted their association in the illegal act. Five other international umpires – Nadeem Ghauri and Anees Siddiqui of Pakistan and Gamini Dissanayake, Maurice Winston and Sagara Gallage of Sri Lanka – were also exposed in the operation.
Bangladesh umpire Nadir Shah told the India TV’s undercover reporter that he was ready to fix any matches – whether international, county or league matches.
Nadir offered to give decisions like ‘out’ and ‘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 also revealed on a hidden camera that Pakistan’s opening batsman Nasir Jamshed ‘fixed’ several matches during the Bangladesh Premier League. He also said the umpires from Bangladesh are always ready to ‘help’ their country’s cricketers.
Bangladeshi ICC international panel umpire Saikat was also approached. He, however, refused to do any favour in exchange for money. Yet, like other umpires, he also wanted money in ‘black’ for ‘assignments’.
In another sting operation, Minhazuddin Khan, the media manager of Dhaka Gladiators, revealed to the India TV undercover reporter that Pakistan’s player Azhar Mahmood 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 Shehzad regularly used to take call-girls to their rooms straight after the match parties.
Minhaz also revealed that he and Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal often used to go to Dubai and Malaysia for holidays, and used to get money from Bangladesh through ‘hawala’.
India TV was telecasting non-stop from 7:00pm on Monday.
When contacted by New Age, Minhaz said he has no knowledge about giving any interview to any TV channel while Saikat said he was approached by an Indian before the Eid-ul-Fitr, offering him to earn umpiring deal provided he agrees to pay certain commission.
‘His intention appeared suspicious to me, so I refused to talk any further,’ Saikat told New Age. Nadir was not available for comments.
In the same sting operation, Sri Lankan premier panel umpire Gallage, who was the fourth umpire at the crucial India-Pakistan T20 World Cup match on September 17 agreed, for a payment of Rs 50,000, to reveal the match pitch report, weather report, toss report and even the playing eleven of both teams.
Gallage promised to give Pakistan batsman Imran Nazir out, even if he was not out, in exchange for money in the SLPL.
Gallage 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.
Sri Lankan umpire Winston’s name was recommended by Gallage to the India TV undercover reporter. For the crucial T20 World Cup match on September 17 between Australia and England, Winston shared the pitch report, toss report and playing eleven of both teams and demanded Rs 50,000 bribe. He agreed to take
the entire amount in ‘black money’.
His compatriot Gamini went a step ahead. On camera, he promised to ‘revolt’ against Sri Lankan Cricket if he was given a handsome amount.
Gamini told the undercover reporter that by providing ‘liquor and picnic’ to the Sri Lankan Cricket Board officials one can get any work done. Gamini’s name was mentioned by Maurice Winston.
Pakistan’s ICC international panel umpire Nadeem Ghauri and Anees Siddiqui agreed to help team India in all manners in lieu of money. As quid pro quo, Nadeem agreed to take all amounts underhand in ‘black’.
Anees, who also wanted the entire amount in ‘black’, promised that he would manage the Pakistan Cricket Board to accept a decision favourable to India.