Former Pakistan umpire Asad Rauf dies of cardiac arrest

NEW DELHI: Former Pakistan umpire Asad Rauf has died after suffering a cardiac arrest in Lahore.

He was 66.

Rauf had made his first appearance as an umpire in international cricket in 2000. He officiated in 64 Tests (49 as on-field umpire and 15 as TV umpire), 139 ODIs and 28 T20Is and was one of Pakistan's leading umpires in the mid 2000s.

His family members confirmed that he suffered a cardiac arrest on Wednesday night and was taken to a hospital but he died there.

“He had not been feeling well for the last couple of days while running his business and came home early. Doctors say he had a cardiac arrest,” his brother said from Lahore.

He will be buried in Lahore near his home on Thursday evening.

Rauf, who was also an accomplished first class batter and toured with the Pakistan team without playing a Test or an international match before turning to umpiring, also officiated in 11 women's T20 games.

"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 (PCB) President Ramiz Raja tweeted.

Rauf, who had played 71 first-class matches for National Bank and Railways before taking up umpiring, was appointed in the ICC elite panel in April 2006.

Once considered a top umpire alongside compatriot Aleem Dar, Rauf fell from grace when the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) banned him in early 2016 for involvement in corruption and misconduct during the Indian Premier League.

Although the BCCI banned him in 2016, Rauf had come under suspicion after being named as one of the accused by the Mumbai Police in IPL spot-fixing scandal in 2013.

He was accused of taking gifts and bribes to fix matches.

Soon after, reports emerged of Rauf's involvement in breaching the International Cricket Council (ICC)'s Anti-Corruption Code. He was also withdrawn from the Champions Trophy and dropped from the ICC elite panel.

While banning him for five years, the BCCI had said that he was involved in breaching the ICC anti-corruption code several times during the league while officiating as umpire.

After the BCCI ban, Rauf's umpiring career came to an end as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) also implemented a ban even for domestic matches and from being involved in any cricket related activities in Pakistan.

For the last few years Rauf was running a shop to sell clothes and shoes at the Landa Bazar in Lahore.

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