Lahore April 13, 2013: Pursuant to allegations that 2 Pakistani Umpires, Nadeem Ghauri and Anis Siddiqui, were willing to accept money/financial remuneration to grant favourable/dubious umpiring decisions leveled by an Indian television channel, India TV, in its expose in the first week of October 2012, the PCB had constituted an Inquiry Committee to probe in to the matter.
The Inquiry Committee comprised of Mr. Ehsan Sadiq Director Vigilance and Security, Mr. Intikhab Alam, Director Game Development and Barrister Salman Naseer, Manager Legal. The Committee obtained unedited video footage from the India TV along with all relevant evidence available with the International Cricket Council (ICC). After authenticating all the adduced evidence, inclusive of an exhaustive forensic investigation with the assistance of a specialist body in Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA), the two umpires, Ghauri and Siddiqui, were asked to give a written submissions explaining their version of events, and were subsequently cross examined by the Inquiry Committee.
Inquiry Committee’s Observations and Recommendations
The Committee noted that after coming to know about the exaggerated amounts to be paid to them for umpiring assignments, both umpires failed to exercise caution and sound judgment, which resulted in their entrapment in the said Sting Operation; despite their skepticism about the true credentials of the persons they were talking to and the methodology adopted by them, the two umpires remained engaged with them in prolonged and questionable conversations with regard to potential umpiring roles and dubious decision-making; the submissions made by both umpires failed to corroborate/correlate with the contents of the authenticated video footage of the said Sting Operation; and that, prima facie, there is sufficient material to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Nadeem Ghauri and Anis Siddiqui.”
The Committee recommended referring the matter to “PCB’s Integrity Committee for further necessary action, and also that both Ghauri and Siddiqui not be considered for any umpiring assignment or participation in any form of cricket till the matter is pending before the Integrity Committee.”
Other recommendations included, increasing of awareness programs inclusive of lectures and training workshops to be conducted by PCB to ensure that the umpires fully comprehend the parameters/guidelines of the Codes of Conduct in order to safeguard against such incidents taking place in future; adopting a proactive approach to ensure the prevention of such incidents involving umpires and any other match officials; and bringing all players, support personnel and match officials associated with PCB under a strict vigilance regime and comprehensive monitoring mechanism at the earliest.
In accordance with the recommendations of the Inquiry Committee, Chairman Ch. Zaka Ashraf presided over a meeting of the Integrity Committee of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) today at the National Cricket Academy (April 13, 2013) to examine and determine the guilt of Nadeem Ghauri and Anis Siddiqui in relation to the allegations leveled against them.
The following members of the PCB Integrity Committee were in attendance:
M. Zaka Ashraf, Chairman
Justice (R) Sheikh Abdul Rashid, Member
Subhan Ahmad, Member
Zakir Khan, Member
Intikhab Alam, Member
The report of the Inquiry Committee was perused by the members of the Integrity Committee, relevant clips of the Skype conversations which incriminate both the umpires was viewed and the Committee personally heard both the said umpires.
The matter was deliberated by the members of the Integrity Committee at length and they were of the unanimous view that substantial incriminating material was available on record suggestive of the fact that both the umpires were willing to compromise their integrity in discharge of their professional duties. The members of the Committee were thus unanimous in their view that the said two umpires cannot be cleared of the allegations leveled against them. Consequently, the Integrity Committee unanimously recommended as under:
1. That Mr. Nadeem Ghauri being a former test cricketer and also elevated to the elite panel of umpires of ICC and PCB’s International panel (with 13 years standing) straight away agreed to extend undue favours for material gains, therefore, he cannot be cleared for consideration of appointment as an umpire/match official or in any other capacity in any form of cricket held/organized/supervised/conducted/controlled under the aegis of the PCB for a period of four years from the date of institution of Inquiry i.e. 11th October 2012. Further, during the said period he may not be considered for association/appointment with PCB in any other form or position.
2. That Mr. Anis Siddiqui being only a domestic umpire with lesser experience of only 8 years did not straight away fall prey to the undue suggestions made by India TV Sting Operatives and kept on resisting their undue demands repeatedly, but finally conceded to them on their persistence. Keeping in view his limited exposure to International Cricket and Codes of Conduct, his case is of mitigating circumstances and therefore he cannot be cleared for consideration of appointment as an umpire/match official or in any other capacity in any form of cricket held/organized/supervised/conducted/controlled under the aegis of the PCB for a period of three years from the date of institution of Inquiry i.e. 11th October 2012. Further, he may not be considered for association/appointment with PCB in any other form or position.
The Pakistan Cricket Board has endorsed these recommendations.
Commenting on the occasion Chairman PCB Ch. M. Zaka Ashraf said, "The PCB has a zero tolerance policy for corruption or indiscipline. We are committed on creating awareness amongst our players and officials with regards to the possible pitfalls, and are determined to adopt all vigilance and security parameters, which are in line with the laid out procedures of the ICC. Today's decision reiterates the commitment of the PCB to keep our great sport free of all corrupt practices".