LAHORE -

Pakistan umpire Asad Rauf has been withdrawn by the ICC from officiating in the upcoming Champions Trophy in England following media reports that indicated he was under investigation by Mumbai Police.

"In the wake of reports that the Mumbai Police are conducting an investigation into Asad 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activities, we feel that it is in Asad's best interests as well as those of the sport and the event itself, that he is withdrawn from participating in the ICC Champions Trophy," Dave Richardson, the ICC chief executive, said in a statement on Thursday.  The ICC did not mention what the Mumbai Police were reportedly investigating Rauf for, and said it had no further comment to make. Rauf has been in India, officiating in the IPL.

Rauf was embroiled in a controversy last year when a small-time model named Leena Kapoor accused the Pakistani umpire of sexually exploiting her for months before refusing to marry her.

As per the duty schedule of the on-field umpires, Rauf was supposed to officiate in a warm-up match between Australia and West Indies in Cardiff on June 1. In the tournament group league stage, he was supposed to officiate in two matches in Cardiff. The first on June 9 was between Sri Lanka and New Zealand while other was between West Indies and South Africa.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Thursday said it had no authority to keep vigilance at the umpires as they come under ICC’s control. Addressing a press conference PCB chief Zaka Ashraf said that PCB will soon introduce new rules to bring Pakistani umpires under its "domain" in the wake of ICC's decision to withdraw Asad Rauf from the Champions Trophy following his questioning in connection with the spot-fixing scandal in IPL.

“Neither did he go with our permission nor is he coming back with our permission. The Pakistan Cricket Board has nothing to do with it. But if he has done anything wrong he should be punished. We are not involved in the umpires business in IPL. Till now Pakistani umpires and match referees are not in our (PCB's) domain. But now we are going to have a Board meeting soon where we will bring in new rules to bring umpires from our country in our domain," Ashraf said.

"As per the rules, the Pakistani umpires will have to sign a contract with the Board," he added. The PCB chief, however, said that the spot-fixing scandal in IPL, which is getting murkier day by day, is a wake-up call for the BCCI. "I don't know why things are not tightened or managed in a proper way in IPL. All the mud-slinging is coming up in the IPL. It's a wake-up call for the organisers of IPL," Ashraf said.

Meanwhile, expressing disappointment over the sudden decision of the ICC to drop Asad Rauf from the Champions Trophy, former Pakistan cricket team captain Aamir Sohail told Times Now,”Have they (ICC) given any evidence? They can’t do that on mere speculation.” The former Pakistani opener blasted the ICC vigilance team for failing to detect these wrongdoings until external agencies intervened. “How are they (ICC) not pulling out people from the anti-corruption unit? Everything happened under their nose,” he said. “ICC is not clean. That’s why this game is suffering.”