The spot-fixing saga in the ongoing IPL on Thursday took a dramatic turn with ICC withdrawing controversal Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf from the panel of match officials for the upcoming Champions Trophy in England as his role in the scandal is being investigated by Mumbai Police.
The ICC issued a media release stating that Rauf had been removed from the panel of umpires for the June 6 to 21 tournament.
"The decision has been made after media reports on Wednesday indicated that the umpire was under investigation by Mumbai Police," the ICC release said.
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activities, we feel that it is in Asad's best interests as well as those of the sport and the event itself, that he is withdrawn from participating in the ICC Champions Trophy."
As per the duty schedule of the on-field umpires, 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 supposed to officiate in two matches in Cardiff. The first on June 9 was between Sri Lanka and New Zealand while other was between West Indies and South Africa.
The 57-year-old umpire, who is an ICC Elite Panel umpire, has been officiating matches in the IPL since the inaugural season in 2008.
The Pakistani was also in the news last year after he was accused of sexually exploiting a Mumbai-based model Leena Kapoor. Leena had filed a complaint with Mumbai Police against Rauf but retracted after six months.
It is not the first time an umpire has been linked with spot-fixing.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) had banned international umpire Nadir Shah for 10 years after an Indian TV channel exposed that he was apparently willing to fix matches for cash.
The TV channel also exposed Pakistani international umpire Nadeem Ghauri, who has also been slapped with a four-year ban by Pakistan Cricket Board.
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