Well-known Bangladesh ICC panel umpire Nadir Shah has been plunged into controversy after Indian television channel India TV conducted a sting operation
that has revealed that six umpires from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, Shah among them, were willing to give wrong decisions during a game in lieu of money.
The channel, which aired the footage of Shah yesterday, claimed that another Bangladesh umpire and a former national spinner, Sharfudoullah Ibne Shahid Shaikat who was also interviewed on Skype, refused to perform any favours in lieu of money offered by the undercover reporters.
It was reported that the footage was shot on July 25 in Delhi where Shah was supposed to sign a contract with a Sports Management Group (which was actually an undercover sting by reporters) so that he could officiate matches of the Sri Lankan Premier League (SLPL).
Although the questions in the footage were focused on what favours the umpires could do for them in the SLPL, Shah spoke on a number of issues without being prompted.
According to the video, Shah, who has officiated in 40 one-day internationals and three T20 Internationals, was ready to fix matches of the SLPL, international or domestic level. He also revealed that Pakistani batsman Nasir Jamshed “fixed” matches in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). Shah also stated that umpires from Bangladesh are always ready to ‘help’ their country’s cricketers.
The other umpires named in the sting operation are Nadeem Ghauri and Anees Siddiqui of Pakistan, Sri Lanka’s Gamini Dissanayake, Maurice Winston and Sagara Gallage.
In another video, Gallage agreed to leak information on the pitch, weather, toss, and the playing elevens of India and Pakistan ahead of their World Twenty20 warm-up match on September 17 for 50,000 rupees. He was the fourth umpire in the game.
Shah, who has been a frequent visitor to India reportedly to visit relatives, was learnt to be in Mumbai, but could not be reached for comments after repeated attempts to contact him at his local number in India.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) media committee chairman Jalal Yunus, when contacted declined to comment on the issue saying, “We have also heard about this, but we cannot comment on the issue without looking into it further.”
Meanwhile the International Cricket Council (ICC) has requested India TV to hand over the video footage.
-With The Daily Star input