Asad Rauf Getty Images

Asad Rauf (left) clarified that he will be happy to depose before the anti-corruption unit of ICC and clear his name from the spot-fixing controversy © Getty Images

Lahore: May 29, 2013

Pakistan umpire Asad Rauf on Wednesday denied spot-fixing allegations made against him during the Indian Premier League, as Delhi’s sports ministry urged India’s powerful cricket chief to quit pending an inquiry into the scandal.

Indian media accused Rauf of involvement in the fixing controversy engulfing the megabucks Twenty20 competition and the sport’s governing body pulled him from next month’s Champions Trophy amid reports he was under police investigation.

The scandal is threatening to bring down N Srinivasan, the head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), who has been under intense pressure after his son-in-law was arrested for allegedly betting on IPL games.

Delhi’s sports ministry Wednesday turned up the heat on Srinivasan, widely seen as one of the most powerful men in world cricket, demanding he resign on moral grounds.

Media in India alleged Rauf had been in contact with Bollywood actor Vindoo Dara Singh, arrested on charges of acting as middleman between bookies, players and officials, but the 57-year-old Wednesday insisted he was innocent.

“I vehemently deny allegations of match-fixing, spot-fixing, taking gifts (from bookmakers) and any illegal money,” Rauf said at a press conference in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore, his first public statement since news of the scandal broke.

“I am ready to face any inquiry if the ICC’s anti-corruption unit wants to conduct any.”

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has distanced itself from the controversy, saying Rauf was under ICC control and the event was held in India, but assured action would be taken against him if the governing body ordered it.

Rauf, on the Elite Panel since 2006 with 48 Tests, 98 one-day internationals and 23 Twenty20 internationals to his name, said he had never been interested in fixing or backhanders.

“Fixing, illegal money and gifts have never been my topic, nor my target. These allegations have no truth and this is all,” he said.

Rauf clarified his pull-out from the Champions Trophy, saying he was only withdrawn from the tournament and not removed from the panel of top umpires approved to stand in Tests and one-day internationals.

“The ICC took the decision in the best interests of the game and for me, and I accept that,” he said.

Rauf is the second Pakistani umpire to come under scrutiny in fixing after another ex-international panel umpire was banned for four years in April following a sting operation by an Indian channel which showed him agreeing to fix matches.

Pakistan has a history of match-fixing controversies. Three of their players — Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer — were banned and jailed in a spot-fixing scandal in 2010.

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