London: The International Cricket Council launched an "urgent investigation" Monday following allegations by India TV that several umpires were willing to fix matches for money.
India TV broadcast footage of a sting operation, undertaken by undercover reporters in August and September, that exposes six ICC umpires from Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The ICC said none of the six officiated in any matches at the World Twenty20 that finished 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 re-iterates its zero-tolerance towards corruption whether alleged against players or officials."
India TV identified the umpires in the sting and said three of them agreed to give favorable 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 favor of India. It is not clear what tournament or matches the two umpires were referring to.
The sixth umpire shared the pitch and toss reports as well as playing line-ups for the warm-up match between England and Australia on Sept. 17 in exchange for 50,000 rupees, according to India TV.
A seventh umpire, from Bangladesh, was approached but refused to cooperate.
The allegations comes 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.
The trio were convicted of conspiring with an agent, Mazhar Majeed, to ensure the delivery of deliberate no-balls. Butt received 2 1/2 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.
Published Date: Oct 09, 2012 08:45 am | Updated Date: Oct 09, 2012 08:50 am