Big News: Ex-ICC elite umpire from Pakistan Asad Rauf dies of cardiac arrest
Pakistan's one of the most prominent faces in umpiring, Asad Rauf died of cardiac arrest in Lahore. Former member of the ICC elite panel breathed his last at the age of 66. He officiated in 231 international matches across 13 years as he kicked off his career in the year 2000 and was later promoted to ICC's elite panel in 2006 to become one of World's most renown umpires.
He officiated in 64 Tests (49 as on-field umpire and 15 as TV umpire), 139 ODIs and 28 T20Is.
He was a popular figure on the circuit who, alongside Aleem Dar, did his bit in improving the reputation of Pakistani umpires before the neutral umpires era.
But his career suffered a massive jolt after his name was involved in the 2013 IPL spot fixing scandal. Rauf was one of the 'wanted accused' by the Mumbai police and the whole development spoiled his umpiring career. Three years later, in 2016, the BCCI banned Rauf after he was found guilty of indulging in corrupt practices and disrupting the game. He was accused of accepting gifts from bookies and his involvement in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal. The year before, Rauf was also accused of sexual exploitation from a model based out of Mumbai after she claimed that he had promised to marry her but backed out.
Before taking up umpiring, Rauf enjoyed a pretty decent career as a domestic cricketer in Pakistan. A big hit in the 1980s as a right-handed batter, Rauf scored 3423 runs from 71 First-Class games and 611 runs in 40 List-A matches. The 1986-87 season was a breakout year for Rauf as he amassed 673 runs at an average of 35.36 including five fifties and one century. But due to poor form, he could only sustain his cricket career for another year before venturing into umpiring.
Rauf was in the news until earlier this year, when a video of him selling shoes at Pakistan's famous Landa Bazaar went viral. Rauf mentioned that 10 years after standing in his final ODI, he has lost interest in cricket and now wants to excel in his new role.
"This isn't for me, this is the daily wages of my staff, I work for them. I've umpired in so many games all my life, there's no one left to see now. I haven't been in touch with the game since 2013, because once I leave something I leave it completely," Rauf had said in a recent interview to a Pakistani news channel, Paktv.tv back in June.
Meanwhile, former Pakistan cricketer and popular cricket commentator Ramiz Raja expressed his grief on Rauf's death.
"Saddened to hear about passing of Asad Rauf. Not only was he a good umpire but also had a wicked sense of humour. He always put a smile on my face and will continue to do so whenever I think about him. Many sympathies with his family for their loss," Pakistan Cricket Board chief Ramiz Raja tweeted.
"Sad to know about the news of former ICC umpire Asad Rauf's demise...May Allah grant him magfirat and give his family sabr Ameen," tweeted former Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal.