A Pakistani umpire is the latest person to come under the radar of the Mumbai police’s investigations into the Indian Premier League spot-fixing scandal, according to the Times of India newspaper.
A number of bookies, a Bollywood actor and three Indian cricketers have been detained and interrogated by the Indian police probing the scandal that has rocked the multi-billion dollar Twenty20 cricket extravaganza.
The Times of India report stated the crime branch of Mumbai police is probing the activities of the umpire in all the matches he was part of and keeping his movements under watch.
While the report did not mention his name, it is understood he was the same official who had a brush with controversy a few months back, after Mumbai-based model Leena Kapoor accused him of sexual assault: Asad Rauf. Kapoor later withdrew her complaint.
Asad Rauf was one of the umpires who officiated the controversial match in which the three arrested Rajasthan Royals cricketers – S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan – allegedly indulged in spot-fixing, in a match against Mumbai Indians on May 15 in Mumbai.
“The Delhi police said that spot-fixing took place during three matches that the Rajasthan Royals played in; with Pune Warriors on May 5 in Pune, with Kings XI in Mohali (Punjab) on May 9, and with Mumbai Indians in Mumbai on May 15,” the report said.
It also quoted a crime branch officer as saying “at this stage we cannot say if he was involved in spot fixing. But what surprises us is that most of the arrested bookies and actor Vindu Singh were very close to him. They provided us with some details of the umpire’s activities and we are trying to find out more details,” a crime branch officer said.
‘Pakistan’s name being dragged in the mud’
However, various former PCB officials and fans believe Pakistan’s name is being dragged in the mud unnecessarily for the Indian authorities’ failure to keep their sport clean.
“As per the report, he was neither arrested nor questioned directly by the police and making a report out of it shows their intent to drag Pakistan’s name into the controversy,” said a former official.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 23rd, 2013.
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