The spot-fixing saga in the Indian Premier League continues to get bigger. Now, Pakistan umpire Asad Rauf is now under investigation by the Mumbai Police for his alleged role in the scandal.
It is believed that Rauf was in touch with Vindoo Randhawa, son of late wrestler-actor Dara Singh, who was arrested in the IPL spot-fixing/betting case on Tuesday for alleged links with bookies.
The International Cricket Council on Thursday announced that it has withdrawn Rauf from the elite umpires' panel for the ICC Champions Trophy 2013, to be staged in England and Wales from June 6 to 23.
"The decision has been made after media reports on Wednesday indicated that the umpire was under investigation by Mumbai Police," the ICC said, in a media statement.
Explaining the decision, ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: “In the wake of reports that the Mumbai Police are conducting an investigation into Asad Rauf’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activities, we feel that it is in Asad’s best interests as well as those of the sport and the event itself, that he is withdrawn from participating in the ICC Champions Trophy.”
Spot-fixing in the IPL came to light last week when a special cell of the Delhi police arrested India pacer S Sreesanth and his Rajasthan Royals teammates Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan for allegedly indulging in spot-fixing in at least three IPL matches as per arrangements with bookies having underworld connections abroad.
The players, who have been suspended by the BCCI, are charged under section 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and being interrogated in Delhi.
Rauf was embroiled in controversy last year when a small-time model named Leena Kapoor accused the Pakistani umpire of sexually exploiting her for months before refusing to marry her.
As per the duty schedule of the on-field umpires for the Champions Trophy, Rauf was supposed to officiate in a warm-up match between Australia and West Indies in Cardiff on June 1.
In the tournament group league stage, he was to officiate in two matches in Cardiff. The first on June 9, between Sri Lanka and New Zealand, while other was between West Indies and South Africa.
In the ongoing IPL, Rauf did on-field umpiring duty in 13 matches, the last being in the game between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders, in Hyderabad, on May 19.
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