LAHORE – Asad Rauf, the Pakistan umpire who is under investigation by the Mumbai Police, has denied involvement in any corrupt practices in the Indian Premier League, a tournament in which he officiated, and said his withdrawal from the Champions Trophy by the ICC was done with his consent. He said he would be happy to co-operate with the ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit should it wish to question him.
“I am here in front of the media, after the ICC allowed me to record my statement,” Rauf said at a brief press conference in Lahore. “I strongly deny every allegation levelled against me in India and I have never had any links with any sort of fixing there.”
Rauf, one of two Pakistani representatives on the ICC’s Elite Panel of umpires, was withdrawn from the Champions Trophy because of the allegations he is facing in India. His response was to organise a press conference in a local banquet hall, which was attended by both Pakistani and Indian media. At the entrance of the hall was a banner that read: “Stop doing propaganda against the pride of the country Mr. Asad Rauf, ICC umpire.”
Rauf asserted at the start that he would not be taking questions and that he was here “only to record his statement and nothing else”. Once he completed his statement in 15 seconds, the media surrounded. “There are so many unanswered question, you have to tell,” someone from the media said in a loud voice. “Why did you leave India without informing the IPL authorities, what about the gifts they found there and what about the Mumbai police investigation there – will you face them?”For a while it appeared Rauf might answer those questions when he returned to his seat in front of the microphone but he then changed his mind.
“I am only answerable to the ICC’s ACSU,” he said. “I’m more than happy to talk to them if they constitute any inquiry.”I am satisfied with the ICC’s decision to withdraw me because it may have caused a distraction while performing my role [as an umpire] amid the allegations. They have only withdrawn me from the Champions Trophy, not fired me. So it was their decision, with my consent, for the betterment of both me and the cricket.” He left immediately after that. (cricinfo)