He officiated in his first ODI as an umpire in 2000 and his first Test in 2005. Overall, he presided over 64 Tests, 139 ODIs and 28 T20Is. Along with Aleem Dar, Rauf was instrumental in shoring up the image of Pakistani umpires. Before them, Pakistani umpires in the 1980s and 1990s were notorious for brazenly favouring their nation during international matches.
However, his career was not without controversies. In 2013, his name cropped up in the Indian Premier League ‘spot-fixing’ scandal and he was named as “accused” by the Mumbai police. Following these allegations, Rauf was dropped from the ICC’s elite panel. In 2016, the BCCI banned Rauf for five years on four charges of corruption and misconduct.
In 2012, he copped accusations of sexual exploitation from a Mumbai-based model, who stated that the Pakistan umpire had an affair with her on the pretext of marriage. Rauf denied all such accusations.
Before becoming an international umpire, Rauf was a prolific domestic player and featured in 71 first-class matches. A middle-order batter, he averaged 28.76 while playing for National Bank and Railways. Rauf also took part in 40 List A matches and scored 611 runs.
Ramiz Raja, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, took to Twitter to pay tribute to him. “Saddened to hear about the passing of Asad Rauf. Not only was he a good umpire but also had a wicked sense of humour. He always put a smile on my face and will continue to do so whenever I think about him. Many sympathies with his family for their loss,” he tweeted.
Former Pakistan wicket-keeper Kamaran Akmal also expressed his condolences on his demise. “Sad to know about the news of former ICC umpire Asad Rauf’s demise,” he said.