Former ICC elite umpire Asad Rauf dies at 66

Asad Rauf, the former ICC elite umpire from Pakistan who officiated in 231 international matches across 13 years, has passed away due to a cardiac arrest in Lahore. He was 66. Rauf, who began umpiring in the year 2000, was promoted to ICC's elite panel in 2006 and over the next seven years went on to become one of Pakistan's most prominent umpires.

Rauf was one of Pakistan's most prominent umpires in the mid-2000s, having been elevated to the ICC's elite panel in 2006. He had officiated in his first Test the previous year, and been on the ODI panel since 2004, having stood in his first ODI in 2000.

"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 chief Ramiz Raja tweeted.


He was a popular figure on the circuit who, alongside Aleem Dar, did his bit in improving the reputation of Pakistani umpires before the neutral umpires era. But his career came to an abrupt halt in 2013 when he was named as a "wanted accused" by Mumbai police in their investigation into the IPL spot-fixing scandal, where Rauf had been umpiring. Rauf left India before the end of that IPL season and but was withdrawn from the Champions Trophy that followed by the ICC and later that year would be dropped from the ICC's elite panel, though the ICC insisted it wasn't because his name had come up in the investigations.

"Sad to know about the news of former ICC umpire Asad Rauf's demise...May Allah grant him magfirat and give his family sabr Ameen," tweeted former Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal.

Before taking up umpiring, Rauf enjoyed a pretty decent career as a domestic cricketer in Pakistan. A big hit in the 1980s as a right-handed batter, Rauf scored 3423 runs from 71 First-Class games and 611 runs in 40 List-A matches. The 1986-87 season was a breakout year for Rauf as he amassed 673 runs at an average of 35.36 including five fifties and one century. But due to poor form, he could only sustain his cricket career for another year before venturing into umpiring.

Rauf was in the news until earlier this year, when a video of him selling shoes at Pakistan's famous Landa Bazaar went viral. Rauf mentioned that 10 years after standing in his final ODI, he has lost interest in cricket and now wants to excel in his new role.



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