New Delhi, Oct. 8 -- A fourth umpire officiating in the warm-up game between India and Pakistan ahead of the World T20 allegedly passed on information about the weather and wicket to undercover reporters in lieu of money.
Sagara Gallage, the Sri Lankan umpire, also reportedly promised to favour India in the course of the match by 'managing' the match referee and other officials.
While an umpire agreeing to do all this is of course a matter of grave concern, the information he passed on to undercover reporters isn't really classified and is available on the web.
"Anyone can find out weather and pitch conditions from cricket websites a day before the game. Besides, he was the fourth umpire in the game and would come into the picture only if any of the three umpires was not available. So, he had basically no role in decision making," said a BCCI umpire.
The sting showed another Sri Lankan umpire, Maurice Winston, promising the same information to the undercover reporters for Rs. 50,000 bribe.
The reporters, the channel claimed, also got Pakistan umpire Anees Siddiqui to give a decision in favour of India in lieu of money. He told the undercover India TV reporter that he wanted the entire amount in 'black', the channel reported.
The ICC said that none of the umpires named were involved in any of the official games of the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka. Nevertheless, it has asked for information that could help in investigating the matter.
"If umpires are willing to sell their integrity, the ICC can't do much about it. The punishment should be such that it sets a precedent. Otherwise, this is something that could spread if not checked.
"Umpires are not supposed to talk to anyone, even the media, before matches forget about sending out information about the pitch and the playing 11," said RS Rathore, a former BCCI-appointed ump-ires' coach.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.