File photo of banned Pakistani umpire Nadeem Ghouri. (AFP Photo)
Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has rejected umpire Nadeem Ghouri's appeal on his ban after he failed to submit the required fees for the hearing.
Ghouri, who was banned for four years by the integrity committee of the board in April for his role in a sting operation carried out by an Indian television channel to highlight corruption by umpires, said he was unable to submit the appeal fees of 100,000 rupees.
"I am financially in a tight position and the board told me to submit a fee of one lakh rupees with the appeal application and I was also to pay another 250,000 as legal fees for the hearing proceedings to be conducted by a PCB lawyer," he said.
"The board has rejected my appeal on these grounds, and honestly speaking I am totally shattered and heartbroken at this stage and I don't know what else to do because all my life I either played cricket or umpired, and I don't know any other way to earn my livelihood," he said.
Ghouri and another Pakistani first class umpire Anis were banned by the board after an inquiry. Ghouri was shown in the sting operation talking on Skype to a reporter posing as a businessman and discussing chances of fixing games and giving favourable decisions. A Bangladeshi umpire was also banned for life for his role in the sting operation.
But Ghouri insisted if he had earned anything from fixing, he wouldn't be in such dire need of money. "Anyone can check my accounts. Fortunately in the days I was playing and later on the ICC panel, I managed to build my own home. That is all I have," he said.
"If I was corrupt, I wouldn't be in a position where I can't even pay one lakh rupees to the board for my appeal to be heard by them," he said.
Ghouri alleged that an Indian lobby was behind the move to defame and ban him and pointed out they had now targeted Asad Rauf. "This Indian lobby didn't want to see Pakistani umpires on the ICC panel. The Indians have always worked against us. Rauf has been dragged into a controversy and dropped from the ICC elite panel on the basis of Indian media reports because his performance was not bad at all," he said.
Ghouri said what hurt him was that the PCB, under suspended chairman Zaka Ashraf, didn't even bother to listen to him before banning him.