Asad Rauf will fight to clear his name, says family

Asad Rauf was under the scanner of Mumbai Police for his links to spot-fixing © Getty Images

Karachi: May 25, 2013

Troubled Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf will fight to clear his name in an ongoing spot-fixing scandal in India, family sources told on Sunday as the umpire returned to his home in Lahore.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) this week withdrew the 57-year-old umpire from next month’s ICC Champions Trophy in England in the wake of media reports that he was under police investigation.

Mumbai police on Friday refused to confirm whether Rauf would be called in for questioning, as media outlets in India and Pakistan tried to track the umpire down.

The scandal broke last week when Delhi police arrested three cricketers, accusing them of deliberately bowling badly in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars during the ongoing Twenty20 league in India.
Rauf’s family said he returned to his home in Lahore a few days ago.

“Rauf has nothing to hide, he reached Lahore after completing his matches in the league (in India),” a family source told AFP without elaborating.

The ICC has said it felt it was in “Asad’s best interests as well as those of the sport and the event itself” for him to no longer participate in the Champions Trophy.

Rauf, who has overseen 48 Tests and 98 one-day internationals, was one of the umpires during the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the centre of the corruption probe.

Family sources said the umpire will fight to clear his name. “Rauf is disappointed that he was not given a chance to clear his name and was excluded from the Champions Trophy but once his name is cleared he will resume his career in the game he loves,” said the source.

“Rauf is bound by the ICC code so at an appropriate time he will speak.” Pakistan Cricket Board has distanced itself from Rauf’s case, saying the event was held in India and Rauf was officiating as an ICC umpire.

But PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf confirmed action would be taken against the umpire if the ICC asks for any such step.

In Lahore, Rauf’s brother Adnan dismissed the allegations and said the umpire would prevail. “I have not met up with him yet, but nobody has levelled any allegations against him. Even the Mumbai police has not called him for interrogation, so he will face everyone,” Adnan told reporters outside the family house.

“I will myself tell him to face media, face everyone.” Rahim Ali, a neighbour of Rauf, said media outlets in India were to blame for pulling him into the scandal.

“It’s Indian media’s propaganda. Last year also his name was dragged in a scandal but he was cleared and he umpired in the IPL again,” said Ali, referring to Rauf’s alleged affair with Bollywood model Leena Kapoor.

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