Yet another prominent name came under the cloud of the IPL spot-fixing scandal Thursday. The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced that it had withdrawn its elite panel umpire Asad Rauf of Pakistan from the Champions Trophy in England and Wales next month.
The decision has been made after media reports on Wednesday indicated that the umpire was under investigation by Mumbai Police, the ICC said in a statement.
However,the Mumbai Police has not officially named Rauf as among those it is investigating in connection with the case. Police sources say he is among the many whose roles are being closely examined.
Explaining the decision,ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: In the wake of reports that the Mumbai Police are conducting an investigation into Asad Raufs activities,we feel that it is in Asads best interests as well as those of the sport and the event itself,that he is withdrawn from participating in the ICC Champions Trophy.
At this stage,the ICC has no further comment to make, the statement added.
Rauf is known to have close links with individuals from the film and television industry. Last year,starlet Leena Kapoor complained to the police that the umpire had gone back on his promise to marry her.
Rauf had denied the allegations and said Kapoor was keen to be part of the Bigg Boss reality TV show and had wanted him to put in a word for her.
Actor Vindoo Dara Singh,who has been arrested in connection with the spot-fixing scandal,was the winner of Bigg Boss in 2009.
As per the duty schedule of on-field umpires,Rauf was to officiate in a warm-up match between Australia and the West Indies in Cardiff on June 1,and later in two group stage matches between Sri Lanka and New Zealand and the West Indies and South Africa,both in Cardiff.
The Pakistan Cricket Board Thursday said that Pakistani match officials were not in its domain. PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf said: It (Raufs withdrawal) is not in our knowledge. He did not go to India with our permission. We are not involved in the umpires business in IPL. – with PTI inputs