NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf was handed a five-year ban by the Indian cricket board (BCCI) on Friday over his involvement in an illegal betting scandal that blighted the 2013 Indian Premier League (IPL) season.
Controversy plagued the sixth edition of the lucrative Twenty20 league with former India paceman S. Sreesanth and two other Rajasthan cricketers arrested on suspicion of accepting money to concede a fixed number of runs. All three were given life bans by the BCCI.
The Chennai and Rajasthan franchises were subsequently suspended from the IPL for two years after key officials from both teams were found guilty of illegal betting.
The investigating Mumbai Police also named Rauf in the chargesheet but the umpire's lawyer said his client had done nothing wrong.
"Mr Asad Rauf has been banned for a period of five years from umpiring or playing or representing cricket in any form or anyway being associated with the activities of the Board and its Affiliates," the BCCI said in a statement on Friday.
The 59-year-old, who last officiated an international match in the 2013, did not appear before the BCCI disciplinary committee and sent a written statement instead, the board added.
The panel found the umpire guilty of facilitating betting, disclosing inside information and receiving gift or payment that brought the game into disrepute.
A Lahore-born first class cricketer, Rauf has officiated in 49 Tests and 98 one-day internationals. The BCCI ban does not extend beyond India.