ICC pulls out Asad Rauf, T’wood under scanner
From the nation’s capital, the IPL stink travelled West (Vindoo was arrested on Wednesday) and South (CSK CEO’s name cropped up) and on Thursday it travelled East. The entire country, it seems, is engulfed in this dark, dreary world where sleaze has replaced sport.
While the day began with the Kolkata Police nabbing suspected bookie and Tollywood producer Ajit Surekha and nine others, the murky plot got thicker with the ICC withdrawing controversial Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf from next month’s Champions Trophy in UK for his alleged role in the fixing scandal. The senior elite panel umpire, in the news last year after a small-time model accused him of sexual exploitation, thus became the first umpire to come under the scanner in the spot-fixing scandal.
‘The decision has been made after media reports on Wednesday indicated the umpire was being probed by Mumbai Police,’ the ICC release said. Explaining the decision, ICC chief executive David Richardson said, ‘In the wake of reports that cops in India are conducting a probe into Asad Rauf’s activities, we feel it’s in his best interests as well as those of the sport and the event itself, that he is withdrawn from participating in the Champions Trophy.’
The elite panel umpire from Lahore has had a history of controversies and only last year a small-time model named Leena Kapoor accused him of sexually exploiting her for months before refusing to marry her. In the ongoing IPL, Rauf officiated in 13 matches as on-field umpire, the last one being the game between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders on 19 May.
In Kolkata, the police seized several cellphones, one laptop and Rs 3 lakh cash from the possession of the 10 accused. The accused were held from a house in north Kolkata and will be under police custody till 27 May.
Meanwhile in Chennai, a Mumbai Police team served a summon at the residence of CSK CEO Gurunath Meiyappan to appear before it on Friday failing which he could be declared a fugitive. Meiyappan, son-in-law of BCCI president N Srinivasan, is to be confronted on the statement given by Vindoo Dara Singh that it was the CSK CEO who gave him access to IPL matches. Sources said Meiyappan has sought time till Monday to appear before Mumbai Police.