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Asad Rauf. -File photo
Asad Rauf. -File photo

LAHORE: Pakistan umpire Asad Rauf Wednesday denied spot-fixing allegations made against him during the Indian Premier League, as Delhi's sports ministry urged India's powerful cricket chief to quit pending an inquiry into the scandal.

Indian media accused Rauf of involvement in the fixing controversy engulfing the megabucks Twenty20 competition and the sport's governing body pulled him from next month's Champions Trophy amid reports he was under police investigation.

The scandal is threatening to bring down N. Srinivasan, the head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), who has been under intense pressure after his son-in-law was arrested for allegedly betting on IPL games.

Delhi's sports ministry Wednesday turned up the heat on Srinivasan, widely seen as one of the most powerful men in world cricket, demanding he resign on moral grounds.

Media in India alleged Rauf had been in contact with Bollywood actor Vindu Dara Singh Randhawa, arrested on charges of acting as middleman between bookies, players and officials, but the 57-year-old Wednesday insisted he was innocent.

“I vehemently deny allegations of match-fixing, spot-fixing, taking gifts (from bookmakers) and any illegal money,” Rauf said at a press conference in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore, his first public statement since news of the scandal broke.

“I am ready to face any inquiry if the ICC's anti-corruption unit wants to conduct any.” The investigations started on May 16 when Delhi police arrested three cricketers including Test fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, accusing them of deliberately bowling badly in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars during the lucrative IPL.

The BCCI has set up a three-member commission to investigate complaints against Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, an executive at the Chennai Super Kings IPL team -- owned by Srinivasan's India Cements.

“The ministry of youth affairs and sports has observed with considerable disquiet, the reports about match- and spot-fixing in cricket,” said a statement from the sports ministry headed by Jitendra Singh.

“As there is a conflict of interest in this inquiry, therefore BCCI President should tender his resignation on moral grounds, pending the outcome of the inquiry.” Srinivasan, 68, said he would not interfere with the probe committee, comprising two former high court judges and BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale.

“I have already made it very clear that I will have nothing to do with the investigating commission. The probe commission is independent,” he told reporters in Mumbai.

Srinivasan, elected as BCCI president in 2011, has been resisting pressure to step down and can only be sacked if two thirds of the board's members vote against him.

Meiyappan's arrest followed similar action against World Cup-winning pace bowler Sreesanth and two teammates in his IPL franchise the Rajasthan Royals -- Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila. All four are being held in custody.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has 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 him if the governing body ordered it.

Rauf, on the Elite Panel since 2006 with 48 Tests, 98 one-day internationals and 23 Twenty20 internationals to his name, 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.

“The ICC took the decision in the best interests of the game and for me, and I accept that,” he said.

Comments (17) Closed

Shahid May 29, 2013 08:58pm

Innocent until proven guilty. Let's hope he IS innocent.

sushil May 29, 2013 10:10pm

mr.rahuf is wrong because vindu dara singh,not juat mention his name but gurunath maypan name also,vindu singh and rauf both did mach fix,and Indian police got telephonic recording between them,well i dont know what going to happened next but one thing i enjoyment days are over because he will not allow to participate in ipl no more girls..night party's..and lots of money,,,,,upppssss mr.rauf going to miss it.

imtiaz May 29, 2013 11:47pm

Pakistanis never cheat, ask the three cricketers anytime who had done time and jail.

khan May 30, 2013 01:33am

He's a sports man. Not indian Sportsman.

khan May 30, 2013 01:37am

@Shahid: he is innocent. He is not laying.

ivehadit May 30, 2013 02:15am

Even the police haven't charged him with anything. So here we are passing judgement on him.

hakim May 30, 2013 02:17am

@imtiaz: <<<----- don't forget who is the real driving force behind fixing and betting.

majid May 30, 2013 02:57am

@Shahid: india always made fun of pakistan about match fixing and this time because all involved were indians they wanted any pakistani involvement and brought this umpires name in. we will see what happens after investigation.

Man May 30, 2013 10:32am

How can you expect Indian Media not to be biased toward anything Pakistani. When would Pakistani will stop going to India for few extra rupee.

MAK May 30, 2013 11:01am

The three bowlers accused of spot-fixing in IPL6 had given away 14-16 runs as promised against money and was caught by cameras and record books of doing so. The two Pakistani bowlers and Captain in 2010 July tests in England were caught on camera of promising to intentionally deliver no-balls and did so, after which they are busted. Has any video recording surfaced about Asad Rauf asking money and giving a wide-ball, a No-ball or an LBW decision when it was not justified? Any video of giving secret signals to those bowlers during May16 match? How else can an umpire do spot-fixing?

Osman May 30, 2013 12:17pm

You can call me a cynic, but trust Indians and their unbaised media to point fingers at a Pakistani. They need escape goats and who better than a Pakistani.

I can bet that while many more well-known Indians and Australians could be involved in fixing as well, with similar sketchy reasons to malign their characters, but Indians would dare not parade their names and footage endlessly on their news channels.

Example: In one innings, Michael Hussey thrice gave a catch to the point fielder (Pollard), who dropped him all 3 times! Mr. Hussey then looks at the pavillion and raises his shoulders and arms as if either he is playing badly but getting lucky or he is trying to get out but Pollard isn't holding his catches! I am not suggesting that either one of these two awesome players were involved in fixing, but I can assure you that the reasons and evidence against Asad Rauf's character assassination being pursued by the Indian media are far less compelling.

malik May 30, 2013 12:49pm

Yea yea yea. Ted Bundy also said he is innocent.

amar May 30, 2013 01:15pm

when it comes to money anything is possible... it's obvious that one wouldn't declare oneself guilty of taking money.. :)

RAJENDRA May 30, 2013 02:57pm

Let us not put him under scanner so soon . He is from Pakistan and our guest . A guest has to be treated with respect

Khalid May 30, 2013 03:06pm

Is he not the same man who denied pictures of him and an actress in a bedroom saying she was only a fan of his? Dare I say more?.

ARFY May 30, 2013 04:31pm

@imtiaz: yea while your there why don t you ask the 5 players in the IPL who were convicted in 2011 and your ex captain Azhuruddin and now add another 3 in 2013 to start lol.

People in glass houses shouldn t throw stones......if you can understand that metaphor!!!!

nomi May 30, 2013 05:01pm

@RAJENDRA: dragging him in controversies and spot fixing allegation is no way close to respect!