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Umpire axed from tourney

Afp
Saturday, May 25, 2013

NEW DELHI - Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf has been withdrawn from next month's Champions Trophy tournament in England amid media reports he is under Indian police investigation for spot-fixing, the ICC said yesterday.

The announcement comes a week after 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 current Indian Premier League (IPL).

The International Cricket Council said the decision was made after media reports on Wednesday "that the Mumbai police are conducting an investigation" into 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 we feel that it is in Asad's best interests as well as those of the sport and the event itself, that he is withdrawn from participating in the Champions Trophy," the ICC said in the statement.

"At this stage, the ICC has no further comment to make."

Rauf, 57, who has stood in 48 Tests and 98 one-day internationals, was one of the umpires during the IPL.

There was no immediate comment available from the Mumbai police or Rauf but the Press Trust of India and other domestic media said the umpire was under investigation by the police as part of its spot-fixing probe.

Spot-fixing is an illegal activity where a specific part of a game, but not the outcome, is fixed.

Sreesanth, who has played 27 Tests and 53 one-dayers for India, is alleged to have been paid four million rupees ($F132,190) to give away around 14 runs in an over while playing against the Kings XI Punjab on May 9.

His Rajasthan Royals teammates, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila, are said to have agreed to similar deals in two other IPL matches.