Asad Rauf officiated in 64 Tests, 139 ODIs and 28 T20Is
Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com
Asad Rauf, a former Pakistani elite panel umpire for the International Cricket Council (ICC), passed away at the age of 66 after having a heart arrest in Lahore, ESPNcricinfo reported Thursday.
Rauf officiated in 64 Tests (49 as on-field, 15 as third umpire), 139 ODIs (98 as on-field, 41 as third umpire) and 28 T20Is (23 as on-field, 5 as third umpire). One of the finest umpires of his time, he joined the Elite Panel in 2006 a year after officiating in his first Test.
However, he was already a regularly officiating in ODIs since 2000.
Along with Naeem Dar, Rauf was among those who contributed to improve the reputation of Pakistani umpires prior to the neutral umpires era.
Rauf continued to be a popular figure and once was a regular fixture in the Indian Premier League. However, in 2013, his name cropped up in the IPL spot-fixing scandal and then his career took a nosedive.
Rauf left India before the end of IPL that year and ICC subsequently withdrew him from the Champions Trophy. Although he later denied the accusations and claimed the decision to not take part in Champions Trophy was taken after his consent.
Eventually, Rauf was also removed from the ICC Elite Panel even though the global governing body said its decision had nothing to do with the spot-fixing allegations.
The BCCI would ban him for five years in 2016 after finding him guilty of indulging in corrupt practices even as Rauf maintained his innocence.
During an interview to a Pakistani news channel, Rauf said he has lost interest in cricket and doesn’t watch it anymore. He ran a shop in Landa Bazaar, Lahore.
“I haven’t been in touch with the game since 2013, because once I leave something I leave it completely,” Rauf told Paktv.tv.
He also said his best time was spent officiating in IPL before the allegations. “I have spent my best time in IPL, apart from these issues that came later on,” he said.
Rauf claimed the allegations of his involvement in corruption came from BCCI and they took a unilateral decision to ban him. “I had nothing to do with these issues, the allegations came from the BCCI’s side and they took the decision on me themselves,” he said.