PCB rejects proposal to give relaxation to umpire Ghauri

The Pakistan Cricket Board has rejected a proposal to give a six-month relaxation to Test umpire Nadeem Ghauri from his four-year ban and allow him to resume umpiring in domestic tournaments this season.

The PCB’s Board of Governors, which met in Lahore, rejected the proposal put forward at the meeting, insisting no relaxation should be given to Ghauri as he brought the image of Pakistan cricket into disrepute.

Ghauri, who played a Test and six ODIs for Pakistan, was banned for four years in October, 2012 after the PCB’s integrity committee found him guilty of being willing to accept money to give favourable umpiring decisions.

Ghauri, 53, a left arm spinner was caught in the fixing scandal along with first class umpire Anees Siddiqui after an Indian television channel carried out a sting operation in 2012, which claimed to have exposed eight first-class and international umpires from Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh who were allegedly willing to give favorable decisions in return for a fee in lucrative domestic and T20 leagues.

PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan, had circulated a letter to all the members before the meeting, asking them whether they approved ending the ban on Ghauri immediately.

The majority of the members said that Ghauri should serve his full ban and only be allowed to return to umpiring in domestic cricket after October this year.

Interestingly, Shaharyar also vehemently opposed giving the relaxation to Ghauri and it was also decided that the board should step up its programmes to educate all umpires about the ICC anti-corruption laws and regulations.

“No leniency should be shown to any umpire if he is found even remotely connected to unethical or corrupt practices,” a member told the meeting.

It was also decided that even after the ban on Ghauri ends in October, the board will first put him through a anti-corruption crash course before deciding when to allow him to return to umpiring in domestic cricket.

Ghauri umpired on the ICC panel and supervised five Tests, 43 One-day Internationals and four T20 Internationals.