PCB bans two umpires for corruption in India TV expose

Karachi: Pakistan Cricket Board on Saturday slapped bans on umpires Nadeem Ghouri and Anis Siddiqui for four and three years respectively after finding them guilty of corruption in an expose by an Indian TV channel last year.

The two umpires were found guilty of agreeing to extend undue favours for material gains in a sting operation carried out by India TV in October last. The PCB's integrity committee headed by chairman Zaka Ashraf took the decision today.

Ghouri, a former Pakistan off-spinner, is an international umpire and has officiated in Test matches while Siddiqui is a first class umpire.

The PCB said in a statement that Ghouri and Siddiqui had agreed to compromise their integrity in the discharge of their professional duties for monetary gains.

"We are committed on creating awareness amongst our players and officials with regards to the possible pitfalls," Ashraf said in the statement.

Ashraf said the PCB was determined to adopt all vigilance and security parameters, which were in line with the laid down procedures of the ICC.

"Today's decision reiterates the commitment of the PCB to keep our great sport free of all corrupt practices," he said.

Ghouri and Siddiqui were among six umpires from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka who were caught on tape by India TV during the sting operation discussing options to fix matches with undercover reporters posing as agents.

50-year-old Ghouri, who played one Test and six ODIs in 1990 and in his 13-years as umpire also supervised five Tests, 43 ODIs and four T20 Internationals from 2000 to 2010, said he was disappointed by the decision.

"It is a big shock for me but right now I can only say that I will consult my lawyer and family and than decide what to do. But I can say this I have never done corruption at any level in my career as player or umpire," he said.

Both umpires appeared before the committee in Lahore today to give their version of the story.