BCB allows Nadir Shah to officiate in match
The Bangladesh Cricket Board allowed umpire Nadir Shah to officiate in a domestic T20 match on September 28, 18 months after giving him a ten-year ban on allegations of corruption. Shah stood in the semi-final of the Dhaka First Division Cricket League T20 competition, a BCB-run tournament.
Shah had been banned in March 2013 based on charges alleged by a TV sting operation in 2012.
The BCB said that, during the last four months, it had been awaiting an ICC directive on Shah, although it did not announce a lifting of the ban.
The ICC, on the other hand, said it had nothing to do with the BCB's decision to ban Shah. An ICC spokesman said: "Nadir Shah was banned for 10 years by the Bangladesh Cricket Board and not by the ICC. This is neither an issue of the ICC nor its ACSU. The ban has been imposed by the BCB, so it is an issue for it."
Sailab Hossain Tutul, member-secretary of the BCB's umpires committee, said there was no ICC restriction on Shah and the board had informed the ACSU that he would be allowed to umpire in domestic matches. "There was no ICC restriction on him. It was the BCB's suspension and the BCB has withdrawn it," Tutul said. "The BCB withdrew the ban on him in the board meeting after the World T20 [in May].
"We had informed ACSU in February-March this year that we are allowing him to umpire in domestic [cricket]. But they didn't reply. The [BCB's] executive board withdrew it. He wanted mercy. He was considered for his length of service."
Tutul also said that Shah had been assigned the match soon after he arrived in Bangladesh after spending three months in the US.
"There was no cricket in the interim [since May]," he said. "When the domestic season began here, he was abroad. We gave him this opportunity as soon as he arrived back in the country. From now on, he will get more matches to officiate."
Shah was given a standing ovation by the match referee, scorers, umpires, players and officials of Indira Road Krira Chakra and BKSP in the semi-final. He said that Tutul had informed him of the lifting of the ban last June, while he has also received a letter from Bangladesh Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (BCUSA) which informed him of the BCB's decision.
"I am still waiting for the letter from BCB," Shah told ESPNcricinfo. "But I got a letter from the umpires association (BCUSA) which helped me umpire in California earlier this year. Back in June, Tutul called me to say that my ban has been lifted by the BCB."
Shah's ban had come after a sting broadcast by India TV, claimed to have "exposed" several first-class umpires from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan who were allegedly willing to give decisions favouring players for a fee. In the sting conducted in July and August 2012, the reporters claimed to belong to a sports management company and promised the umpires officiating assignments in events of all kinds around the world, largely domestic Twenty20 leagues.
All three national boards announced investigations following the broadcast. The BCB conducted a detailed investigation into the matter, with two committees being formed, after which Shah was banned and another Bangladeshi umpire was acquitted.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84