Raza pleads for reinstatement as umpire

Updated: Sep 16, 2012, 22:56 PM IST

Lahore: Pakistan`s former Test spinner Akram Raza has said that he wants to revive his first class umpiring career after being cleared in a betting case.

"I have written to the cricket Board asking them to reinstate me on the domestic umpires panel as I have been cleared by the court in the case," Raza told PTI.

The former off-spinner and six other people were arrested by the police for placing and taking illegal bets on the Indian Premier League last year in May.

Raza was arrested after police raided an alleged bookmaker`s den in a building in Gulberg area of Lahore close to the Gaddafi stadium.

The Board had suspended Raza from umpiring duties after his arrest.

"I was wrongly implicated in the case. I walked into a trap as I was called to the building to meet with a friend. I think it was a conspiracy to defame me because I was earning the reputation of being a good umpire," Raza said.

"I have now submitted all court documents clearing me in the case with the Board and I hope they will restore my umpiring career in the coming domestic season," he said.

Pakistan`s domestic cricket season is scheduled to begin tentatively from October 3.

An PCB official said Raza`s application for reinstatement was being looked into but the matter would have to be decided by the integrity committee which deals with all such cases.

Raza, 47, who played nine Tests and 49 ODIs for Pakistan was also fined by a judicial inquiry commission that probed into match fixing allegations in Pakistan cricket in 2000.

He was seen as a close associate and friend of former captain Salim Malik who was banned for life by the judicial commission for match-fixing.

Raza insisted he was never involved in anything shady in his career and pointed out that the inquiry commission headed by Justice Malik Qayyum fined him because they felt he was not cooperating with them.

"I had no role or knowledge of any fixing so what else could I tell the commission," he said.