Pakistan news April 14, 2013

PCB bans 'one-sided' - Ghauri

Nadeem Ghauri, the Pakistan umpire banned for four years by the PCB, has criticised the board's decision as "one-sided". Ghauri was punished after the PCB's integrity committee found him guilty of being willing to accept money for favourable umpiring decisions.

The allegations against him, Ghauri said, were baseless. They surfaced during a television sting operation, broadcast by India TV, last year, which 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. Ghauri and his umpiring colleague Anis Siddiqui were banned for four and three years respectively by the PCB's integrity committee.

"It's a one-sided decision and I am not happy with it," Ghauri said during a press conference at his residence. "I didn't compromise my integrity and didn't even enter any deal with them but still they have slapped me with this ban. They [PCB] didn't give me a chance to [explain] my version properly. I will request the chairman and will appeal that I should get justice."

"I don't think it's true," Ghauri said of the claims made by the sting operation. "I was actually referred by Nadir Shah (a Bangladesh umpire) with regard to a cricket league in Sri Lanka. They were offering me a lucrative package for umpiring and I brought everything to PCB's notice.

"I was not under any contract with the PCB and we were trying to make some money through these leagues for livelihood without knowing that I am actually being trapped."

Both umpires, as a result of the bans, cannot officiate in any form of cricket and will not be considered for any role in Pakistan's regional associations. The bans took effect on October 11, 2012, the day the PCB began its investigation.

Ghauri, 50, played one Test, against Australia in Sydney in 1990. He also played six ODIs and 147 first-class games. He was part of the ICC's Elite Panel of Umpires and the PCB's international panel in an umpiring career that spanned 13 years. "I have 10 clean years between 2000 and 2010, before being demoted from the ICC panel," said Ghauri, who was also among the injured during the terrorist attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore in 2009. "I have served my life for Pakistan and the PCB should have taken my past into account before making the judgement.

"I am waiting for the documents. I will send an appeal to the chairman and will ask him to show me the videos, there should not be a one-sided decision," Ghauri said, adding that, during the sting operation, he was only sharing his experience as an umpire over Skype.

"And in two minutes you can't compromise your integrity. They trapped us by offering a contract in the Sri Lankan league. This league did happen but their own umpires supervised it in Sri Lanka."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rakesh on April 15, 2013, 7:30 GMT

    The circus continues. The punishments for fixing have to be harsh. Age should not be a factor. And the fans should realise that culprits are culprits. Stop sympathizing with them. If talent and age are used as excuse all the budding cricketers would choose that path knowing that they will get a reprieve. I hope the trio who were punished are never given a chance again at international level. They can play domestic cricket as much as they want and earn a decent living.

  • Arun on April 14, 2013, 20:03 GMT

    As much as one would like to see corruption stamped out,this particular case is a gray area.Thinking up a crime is not a crime:if that were the case, all of us would be guilty. Seemingly agreeing to commit one isn't either:One can easily be badgered or tempted, then decline upon careful reflection. Better sense often prevails.. I don't think money changed hands here either. This sting differs from one that got Asif, Butt and Amir.In that case, not only was there money transferred, but the crime was actually committed,in the exact way indicated to the bookie.The proof of criminality is in the actual commission of the crime. Ghauri's offence is that he should have brought it to the notice of the PCB, but it's possible that the channel beat him to that. His credibility is destroyed, and that's punishment enough. Even without the ban, it would be hard for him to get an umpiring gig. The PCB ban, though, officially brands him a cheat,in the same league as Malik,Butt,et al. which is unfair.

  • Dummy4 on April 14, 2013, 17:05 GMT

    He does make a good point. If he wasn't contracted by PCB, then he's a free-lancer umpire. Don't forget the fact he still has to find a way to make money, and this was a good opportunity. I understand that his involvement obviously destroys his career, but does the PCB has any jurisdiction over non-contracted employees? What if your company suspended you for bad-mouthing them but you weren't working for them at that time? Pretty interesting.

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