COLOMBO — Umpires at the centre of bribery claims deny they were willing to fix matches for cash as cricket authorities announced an urgent probe into the allegations aired in a television sting.
An undercover investigation by the private India TV channel allegedly found six umpires, including one on the international circuit, were willing to give decisions or provide inside information on teams and playing conditions in return for illicit payments.
The accusations were broadcast only a day after the West Indies' victory over hosts Sri Lanka in the final of the World Twenty20 tournament, quickly souring the atmosphere after one of the game's premier events.
None of the umpires was involved in the tournament.
The International Cricket Council called on India TV "to turn over any information which can assist the ICC's urgent investigations into this matter.
"The ICC reiterates its zero tolerance towards corruption whether alleged against players or officials," the organisation said in a statement.
Three of those named were from Sri Lanka, while two were from Pakistan. The sixth was Nadir Shah, one of two Bangladeshi members of the ICC's international panel which officiates in matches around the world.
Grainy footage appeared to show Shah, who has stood in 40 one-day internationals and a number of Twenty20 internationals, saying he was willing to give decisions on demand.
An India TV transcript of the sting said that Shah offered to give biased LBW, run-out and inside-edge verdicts.
"If the umpire is shown a favour, the umpire can do anything," Shah was quoted as saying in the transcript.