File photo of Pakistan umpire Nadeem Ghauri. (AFP)
Islamabad: A Pakistani umpire suspended for four years on corruption charges plans to appeal against the ban, a decision he described Sunday as "one-sided." The Pakistan Cricket Board banned Nadeem Ghauri on Saturday for agreeing to "extend undue favours for material gain" during a sting operation by an Indian television station last year.
"It's a one-sided decision and I am not happy with this decision," Ghauri said at a news conference from his hometown Lahore. "They didn't give me a chance, and I think that the PCB did it on some pressure. I came to know about the decision through the media."
Ghauri said he was heard only once by the PCB's inquiry committee and never had the chance to appear before the integrity committee, which imposed the ban. "I will request and appeal to the PCB chairman that I should be given a proper opportunity," he said.
Ghauri acknowledged that he spoke over the Internet to the man involved in setting up the sting, saying the contract he was offered to work in the Sri Lanka Premier League last year was lucrative but not dependent on him helping to rig matches. The contract was worth $4,500 per match plus $1,000 as a monthly salary, Ghauri said.
"I was interviewed on Skype after I received the documents of the lucrative contract," Ghauri said. "Anyone who sees the contract would have said yes as it was very lucrative."
Ghauri didn't inform the PCB because he was not under contract with the cricket board and said the punishment is harsh because he didn't take charge of any matches in the Sri Lanka Premier League. "I have no agreement with the PCB and I am not under PCB's code of conduct," he said. "When I did not go to Sri Lanka, I could not understand why they punished me."
Ghauri said he was introduced to the man by Bangladeshi umpire Nadir Shah, who was banned for 10 years by his country's cricket board last month on similar corruption charges.
Ghauri officiated in five Tests, 43 one-day internationals and four Twenty20 matches. A former left-arm spinner, he played only one Test, under Pakistan great Imran Khan's captaincy against Australia at Sydney in 1990. Ghauri also played six ODIs.
It's not the first time that Pakistan cricket has been hit by corruption charges in recent years. Pakistan cricketers Mohammad Asif, Salman Butt and Mohammad Amir are serving bans for their involvement in spot-fixing during a Test against England in 2010.