Nadeem Ghauri speaks to the press in Lahore © Associated Press
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Audio/Video: ‘The punishment seems appropriate’
Players/Officials: Anis Siddiqi | Nadeem 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.”