Asad Rauf, once an ICC elite panel umpire from Pakistan, now runs a shop in Landa Bazaar, Lahore and has completely lost touch with the game of cricket. However, the former umpire has no qualms about his new job and is satisfied with what he is doing.
Rauf, 66, was an international umpire from 2000 to 2013. He officiated in 49 Tests, 98 ODIs and 23 T20Is. However, he was banned by the BCCI in 2016 after being found guilty of corruption in the IPL.
The former umpire, whose shop sells clothes and shoes, claims that he is working to satisfy the needs of his staff. In an interview with Paktv.tv, he said:
“Bhai, ye mera kaam nahi hai, ye mere staff ki rozi lagi hui hai, ye mai unke liye krta hu (This isn’t for me, this is the daily wages of my staff, I work for them). I have no greed.
"I have seen a lot of money, and I have seen the world, with protocol. One of my sons is a special child. The other one has just come back from America (US) after completing his graduation. I read the Namaz five times a day. My wife reads the Namaz five times a day.”
Rauf added that he wants to reach the peak of whatever he does, be it umpiring or running a shop, stating:
“Meri aadat hai, jis kaam ko shuru karta hu uski peak pe jaata hu. Maine landai ka kaam shuru kiya hai, iski bhi peak pe mai gaya hu. Maine cricket kheli hai toh iski bhi peak pe mai gaya hu. Aur phir maine umpiring shuru ki, toh maine socha ki iski bhi peak pe hi jaana chahiye (It is my habit to reach the peak of whatever work I do. I started work as a shopkeeper, I have reached its peak. I played cricket, I reached the peak. And then when I started out as an umpire, I said to myself that I need to reach the peak here as well).”
A right-handed batter during his playing days, Rauf featured in 71 first-class matches and 40 List A games, scoring 3423 and 611 runs, respectively. He scored three hundreds in first-class cricket with a best of 130.
“I have spent my best time in IPL” - Asad Rauf
Despite being banned by the BCCI in 2016 for five years over allegations of corrupt practices, Rauf described umpiring in the IPL as his best time.
On allegations of accepting expensive gifts from bookies and being involved in match-fixing, he said:
“I have spent my best time in IPL, apart from these issues that came later on. Unse mera toh koi lena dena tha hi nahi, wo unhi (BCCI) ki taraf se aaye aur unhone hi decision le liye (I had nothing to do with these issues, the allegations came from the BCCI’s side and they took the decision on me themselves).”
The former umpire conceded that he is no longer interested in the game of cricket, saying:
“Nahi, maine saari umar jab khud hi khila diye toh ab dekhna kisko hai (No, I’ve umpired in so many games all my life, there’s no one left to see now).”
Rauf’s last match as an umpire was an IPL 2013 encounter between the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Hyderabad.