Yumpiring is one of the most difficult tasks in international cricket. Players are never satisfied with the decisions of the referees when they go against them. The television referee watches the slow-motion replays from different angles and several times before making his judgment, but the referee who is standing in the field must make a judgment from more than 22 yards away and that also immediately after the ball is delivered.
Pakistani rulers Aleem Dar, Khizr Hayat, Shakur Rana, Javed Akhtar, Salim Badar and Asad Rauf have earned a great name in domestic and international governance.
On September 15, cricket fans heard the sad news that Asad Rauf, the former Pakistan referee on the elite ICC panel, passed away after suffering a heart attack in Lahore. He was 66 years old.
In his 13-year career as an umpire, Asad has officiated 64 Tests – 49 as a field umpire, 15 TV umpires, 139 ODIs and 28 T20Is.
His wise career started in 1998. In 2000, he officiated his first ODI match.
Asad, a former Pakistani cricketer, took over after the ICC asked the former CEO of the Pakistan Cricket Board, Majid Khan, to improve standards of officiating.
Together with Alim Dar, Assad improved the reputation of the Pakistani rulers.
Assad was one of the most prominent figures in the mid-2000s when it came to governance. He was a member of the ICC’s ODI panel in 2004 and was elevated to the ICC’s elite panel in 2006, just a year after making his Test debut.
He remained a member of the ICC Elite Umpire Panel until 2013, and officiated at the 2007 and 2011 World Cups and the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Before becoming an official umpire, Asad played 71 first-class matches for the National Bank and Pakistan Railways as a middle-order batsman. He scored 3,423 runs, at an average of 28.76, hitting three centuries and 22 fifties. He also played 40 List A matches, scoring 611 runs.
Asad’s career as referee ended controversially as he was named in a points-fixing inquiry during the 2013 Indian Premier League.
He had to leave India midway through this IPL season and he was also withdrawn from the Champions Trophy. In 2016, he was banned for five years by the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry on four counts of corruption. Later that year, the ICC dropped Assad from the Elite Committee.
Assad categorically denied all allegations and said the judge’s ruling exonerated him. The former referee claimed his innocence all along and expressed his willingness to cooperate with the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit of the International Criminal Court.
After the incident, he said, “I am accountable to the ICC and not to the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry; if the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry wants to file a unilateral case against me in India, that is up to them. Because as far as I am concerned, the ICC never He took responsibility for the situation because these allegations were initially untrue.”
The PCB distanced itself from Assad after the IPL controversy. PCB Chairman Zakka Ashraf then said, “The PCB has nothing to do with Assad because he was doing IPL duty based on the instructions of the ICC. We don’t know what his crime was but we received an email from the ICC informing us about Assad’s withdrawal from the Champions Cup, but The International Criminal Court did not give any reason for this action.
In an interview, Asad said that he has completely stopped following the game and has not been in contact with cricket since 2013.
I discovered Asad’s private channel in a shop in Landa Bazaar, Lahore. Asad said he has been in the old clothes business for a long time. He described it as one of the leading import companies. He said he works in this business to meet the needs of his employees, not for himself. He also mentioned that he not only sold clothes and shoes, but also sold antiques.
“My lifestyle is very simple. I have no greed. I’ve seen a lot of money, and I’ve seen the world with protocol. One of my sons is a special kid. The other one just got back from the US after completing his graduation. My wife and I pray five times a day and feel good about our lives.”
Recalling his first earnings in the import business, he said it was more than five paychecks he earned while playing cricket.
Lion is no longer with us, but cricket fans will remember him for a long time.