Mumbai Police refuse to confirm about probing Asad Rauf

ICC has withdrawn Asad Rauf from Champions Trophy 2013 over reports of Rauf being probed by Mumbai Police © Getty Images

Mumbai: May 24,2013

Police said Friday they were “investigating all the angles” in the Indian spot-fixing scandal but refused to confirm if they were targeting top Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf.

Rauf was withdrawn from next month’s ICC Champions Trophy in England amid media reports that he is under police investigation for spot-fixing, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Thursday.

Police in the Indian city of Mumbai would not confirm whether the umpire was being investigated as part of the probe which has led to the arrests of three Indian cricketers, including Test fast bowler S Sreesanth, and 11 bookmakers.

A police official said “we are investigating all the angles”, adding that Rauf “has not been called in for interrogation”.

The ICC said the decision to withdraw Rauf was made after media reports on Wednesday “that the Mumbai police are conducting an investigation” into the umpire’s activities.

“We feel that it is in Asad’s best interests as well as those of the sport and the event itself, that he is withdrawn from participating in the Champions Trophy,” the ICC said in a statement.

“At this stage, the ICC has no further comment to make.” Rauf, who has stood in 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.

The withdrawal comes a week after police arrested the three cricketers, accusing them of deliberately bowling badly in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars during the ongoing IPL.

Spot-fixing is an illegal activity where a specific part of a game, but not the outcome, is fixed. Sreesanth, who has played 27 Tests for India, is alleged to have been paid four million rupees ($72,000) to give away around 14 runs in an over while playing against the Kings XI Punjab on May 9.

His Rajasthan Royals teammates, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila, are said to have agreed to similar deals in two other IPL matches.

The scandal widened when police in Mumbai arrested a Bollywood actor, Vindu Dara Singh Randhawa, earlier this week as part of the probe, which has caused outrage among fans in the cricket-mad nation.

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