Rauf, who had began officiating in 2000, had a career spanning 13 years which saw him umpire in a total of 231 international matches. He had been promoted to ICC’s elite panel in 2006 and went on to become one of the most prominent umpires in the game.
Alongside Aleem Dar, the emergence of Rauf handed a new identity to Pakistan’s umpring panel and enhanced his reputation. He had debuted in umpiring in the 1998 during a First-Class game before officiating his maiden ODI two years later. He was elevated to the ODI panel in 2004 after which he officiated in his first Test in the following year.
He continued to umpire at the top level till 2013 before his career was halted with his name coming up in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal. He was one of the ‘wanted accused’ by the Mumbai Police with this incident ultimately spoiling his career.
He was banned three years later in 2016 by the ICC after being found guilty of indulging in corrupt practices. The year before, Rauf also faced allegations of sexual exploitation from a Mumbai based model who claimed that he had promised to marry her but later backed out.
Before umpiring, Rauf enjoyed a decent career in domestic cricket in Pakistan. A right-handed batter in the 1980s, he scored 3,423 runs in 71 First-Class games and 611 runs in 40 List-A games. However, after a career best season in 1986-87, Rauf’s form dipped and he had to bow out of the game before venturing into umpiring.
He was in the news earlier this year when he was spotted selling shoes at Pakistan’s famous Landa Bazaar. Rauf mentioned that after 10 years since stepping off the cricket field, he had lost interest in the game and wanted to excel in his new role.
In a recent interview to a Pakistani news channel Rauf had said, “This isn't for me, this is the daily wages of my staff, I work for them. I've umpired in so many games all my life, there's no one left to see now. I haven't been in touch with the game since 2013, because once I leave something I leave it completely.”