Pakistan’s ex-elite umpire Asad Rauf dies aged 66

Asad Rauf

Asad Rauf, a former Pakistani elite panel umpire for the International Cricket Council (ICC), passed away on Thursday at the age of 66 following a heart attack in Lahore. 

Rauf played for National Bank and Railways during his lengthy first-class career as a middle-order batsman, averaging 28.76 from 71 first-class games. 

In his time as an umpire, Rauf presided over 139 ODIs, 28 T20Is, 64 Tests, 49 of which he refereed on the field and 15 on tv umpire. 

The former match official was among the most well-known umpires by the mid of the 2000s. 

In 2006, a year after making his Test match official debut, he was promoted to the ICC’s elite panel. He had been a member of the ODI panel for the ICC since 2004. 

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Prior to the era of neutral umpires, Asad Rauf was one of those who helped to strengthen the reputation of Pakistani umpires alongside Naeem Dar. 

The Mumbai Police listed Rauf as a “wanted to be accused” in an inquiry into a spot-fixing scandal in the Indian Premier League (IPL), where he had been officiating the games, but his career came to an abrupt stop in 2013. 

Rauf departed India before that season of Indian league cricket completed, but he was disqualified from the competition that followed, the Champions Trophy. 

Later that year, the ICC removed Rauf from its prestigious panel despite Rauf’s protestations that his removal had nothing to do with the fact that his name had come up in the criminal investigations. 

Throughout this time, the former umpire maintained his innocence and signaled his readiness to work with the ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit. 

The Board of Control for Cricket in India subsequently banned Rauf for five years in 2016 due to allegations of corruption and wrongdoing. 

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