New Delhi: The TV channel that conducted the sting operation on six umpires, and allegedly caught them on camera agreeing to change their decisions for money, says it is ready for the legal action from the umpires.
India TV allegedly found six umpires were willing to give 'favourable' decisions or provide inside information on teams and playing conditions in return for illicit payments. In the sting, Pakistan umpire Nadeem Ghauri agreed to give LBW decisions on demand, Sri Lankan umpire Sagar Gallage agreed to part with pitch information one and a half hours before the game, Bangladesh umpire Nadir Shah agreed to warn bowlers unfairly. (Read:Six umpires allegedly caught in TV sting, ICC launches probe)
The umpires are now considering legal action saying that it was all propaganda against them. Pakistan's Nadir Shah said any suggestion he was open to bribery was "absolutely rubbish". "If I am going to fix match, I will be caught some day by the ICC... no umpire fixes matches," he told the Press Trust of India.
Nadeem Ghauri also denied any involvement. "I am surprised at these baseless allegations," he told AFP, saying he would consult his lawyers. (Read:Umpires hit back after corruption claims)
India TV chairman Rajat Sharma told NDTV that it was an expected reaction from those caught in the sting operation. "They are most welcome to file a case. They know that this is what they have said. We are not bothered about what they are saying because it is the least they can say. These are on the expected lines. They will say pictures are morphed, tapes are doctored. All tapes are available for any kind of inquiry. Anyone can go through the tapes and decide themselves."
When asked about the lack of bite in sting as there was no exchange of money, Mr Sharma said: "All stings are done differently. Somewhere money exchange happens, sometime words are important. This is where the umpires, who are considered god on the field, who are most credible and who are the judges, who take decisions on the field, are saying this. Is it not enough? They are saying we will give out if you give me money, we will give LBW to someone who is not LBW out, where there is no snick we will give a snick. What else do we need?"
Mr Sharma had also told AFP on Tuesday that he would co-operate with the International Cricket Council, who have launched probe. "Of course we will give the entire unedited tape to anyone who is inquiring this."