Former International Cricket Council’s (ICC) elite panel umpire from Pakistan Asad Rauf has died at the age of 66 due to cardiac arrest in Lahore, ESPcricinfo reported on Thursday.
Rauf had a substantial first-class career as a middle-order batter before he turned to umpiring, appearing for National Bank and Railways, averaging 28.76 from 71 first-class matches.
In his career as an umpire, Rauf officiated 64 Tests, 49 of which as on-field umpire and 15 as TV umpire, 139 ODIs and 28 T20Is.
The former match official was one of the most prominent names in the mid-2000 when it comes to the umpires. He was on the ICC’s ODI panel since 2004 and was elevated to the ICC’s elite panel in 2006, just a year after he debuted officiating a Test match.
Along with Aleem Dar, Rauf was among those who contributed to improve the reputation of Pakistani umpires prior to the neutral umpires’ era.
However, his career ended abruptly in 2013 when the Mumbai Police named Rauf as a “wanted to be accused” in a probe into a spot fixing controversy in Indian Premier League (IPL) where he had been officiating the matches.
Though Rauf left India before that edition of Indian league cricket ended, but he was ruled out from the Champions Trophy tournament that came soon after. Later that year, ICC dropped Rauf from its elite panel, despite insisting his name coming up in the criminal investigations wasn’t the reason behind his termination.
The former umpire claimed innocence throughout this time and expressed willingness to cooperate with the ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit.
This was followed with the Board of Control for Cricket in India banning Rauf for five years in 2016 for alleged corruption and misconduct.