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Banned umpire Shah officiates in the USA

Peter Della Penna

June 12, 2014

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Mohammad Ashraful (second from left) and umpire Nadir Shah (third from right) at the LA T20 Championship
Nadir Shah (third from right) stood in the LA T20 Championship, which drew attention for the appearance of Mohammad Ashraful (second from left)
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Nadir Shah, the Bangladesh umpire who was banned for 10 years by the Bangladesh Cricket Board in March 2013 on charges of corruptions alleged by a TV sting operation, is now a standing umpire in the Southern California Cricket Association, a member league of the American Cricket Federation.

The sting, conducted in 2012, 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.

Shah, 50, stood in the final of last month's LA T20 Championship, which drew attention for the appearance of suspended former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful. The tournament was officially sanctioned by the USA Cricket Association with assurances that no unapproved international players would participate, but no such restrictions were in place regarding match officials.

Ashraful was invited by former Bangladesh player and current Los Angeles area resident Nazim Shirazi to take part in the competition as part of his team Pegasus CC. Shah is a cousin of Shirazi's and, like Ashraful, has continued to stay in Los Angeles beyond the completion of the LA T20 Championship. According to multiple sources, he is currently umpiring on a weekly basis in the SCCA.

Prior to Ashraful and Shah's appearances in Los Angeles, banned Pakistan legspinner Danish Kaneria played in multiple tournaments in Florida and Texas over the last year. Kaneria's appearance at the USA Friendship Cup T20 in March drew the attention of the Pakistan Cricket Board, which fined five of its contracted players for participating in an unapproved tournament without receiving no-objection certificates.

Shah officiated in 40 ODIs and three Twenty20 internationals before being banned by the BCB. He submitted a mercy plea to the BCB in June 2013 for a reduction in his 10-year ban. The request is still pending.

Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna

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