IPL spot-fixing: Pak umpire Asad Rauf happy to face any probe
Pakistan umpire Asad Rauf who is allegedly linked to the spot-fixing scandal in the IPL, on Wednesday denied any wrongdoing saying he was ready to...
Pakistan umpire Asad Rauf who is allegedly linked to the spot-fixing scandal in the IPL, on Wednesday denied any wrongdoing saying he was ready to face any probe. The International Cricket Council (ICC) had suspendedA Rauf, who is part of elite-level international umpires, A from next month's Champions Trophy in England after media reports that he was under police investigation. "I vehemently deny allegations of match-fixing, spot-fixing, taking gifts (from bookmakers) and any illegal money," Rauf, 57, said in his first public statement after returning from India. "I am ready to face any inquiry if the ICC's anti-corruption unit wants to conduct any." Indian media alleged Rauf was in contact with Bollywood actor Vindoo Dara Singh who has been arrested on charges of betting and acting as a middleman between bookies, players and officials. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) distanced itself from the controversy, saying Rauf was under ICC control and the event was held in India, but assured action would be taken against Rauf if the governing body ordered it. Rauf, also a former first-class cricketer, was included in the Elite Panel in 2006 and has so far stood in 48 Tests, 98 one-day internationals and 23 Twenty20 internationals. Rauf said he had never been interested in fixing or backhanders. "Fixing, illegal money and gifts have never been my topic, nor my target. These allegations have no truth and this is all," he said. Rauf clarified his pull-out from the Champions Trophy, saying he was only withdrawn from the tournament and not removed from the panel of top umpires approved to stand in Tests and one-day internationals. "I want to make it clear that the ICC has withdrawn me from the Trophy, they have not removed me," he said. "The ICC took the decision in the best interests of the game and for me, and I accept that." Rauf is the second Pakistani umpire to come under the scanner in fixing after another ex-international panel umpire was banned for four years in April following a sting operation by an Indian channel which showed him agreeing to fix matches. Pakistan has a history of match-fixing controversies. Three of their players -- Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer -- were banned and jailed in a spot-fixing scandal in 2010. Former captain Salim Malik and paceman Ata-ur-Rehman were banned for life and six top players including Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Inzamam-ul Haq, Mushtaq Ahmed and Saeed Anwar were fined in a match fixing inquiry in 2000.