International Cricket

ICC bans tainted Pakistan trio

Karachi: Pakistan’s former Test captain Salman Butt and pace sensation Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif were on Saturday handed out lengthy bans by the ICC tribunal headed by Michael Beloff on charges of spot-fixing and violating the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Code of Conduct clauses.

Butt has been banned for 10 years (five years of which are suspended sentence), Asif for 7 years (two years of which are suspended sentence) and Amir for 5 years.

The ICC tribunal, which also included Justices Albie Sachs and Sharab Rao, announced the decision based on a six-day hearing held in Doha in early January.

The Dubai-based ICC had charged the trio with “alleged irregular behaviour” in September after British tabloid News of the World reported that the players received money from businessman Mazhar Majeed for ‘spot-fixing’ during the Lords Test on Pakistan’s tour of England in 2010.

Majeed, who was also arrested and questioned by police, appeared to accept 150,000 pounds ($241,000) from reporters posing as front-men for a gambling cartel.

Following conclusion of the hearing on Saturday, the ICC released the following official statement:

ICC Tribunal’s findings:

“The Tribunal found that the charge under Article 2.1.1 of the Code that Mr. Butt agreed to bat out a maiden over in the Oval Test match played between Pakistan and England from 18 to 21 August, 2010, was dismissed, whereas the charge under Article 2.4.2 that Mr. Butt failed to disclose to the ICC’s ACSU the approach by Mr. Majeed that Mr. Butt should bat a maiden over in the Oval Test was proved.

“The Tribunal found that the charges under Article 2.1.1 of the Code that (respectively) Mr. Asif agreed to bowl and did bowl a deliberate no-ball in the Lord’s Test match played between Pakistan and England from 26 to 29 August, 2010, Mr. Amir agreed to bowl and did bowl two deliberate no-balls in the same Test and Mr Butt was party to the bowling of those deliberate no-balls were proved.”

ICC Tribunal’s verdict:

“On Mr. Butt a sanction of ten years’ ineligibility, five years of which are suspended on condition that he commits no further breach of the code and that he participates under the auspices of the Pakistan Cricket Board in a programme of Anti-Corruption education.”

“On Mr. Asif a sanction of seven years’ ineligibility, two years of which are suspended on condition that he commits no further breach of the code and that he participates under the auspices of the Pakistan Cricket Board in a programme of Anti-Corruption education.”

“On Mr. Amir, a sanction of five years of ineligibility.”

“No further sanctions are imposed on any player and no orders are made as to costs.”

The Tribunal also recommended the ICC to amend its Code of Conduct in respect to minimum sentences in “exceptional circumstances.”

“The Tribunal has recommended to the ICC certain changes to the Code with a view to providing flexibility in relation to minimum sentences in exceptional circumstances.”

“The Tribunal notes that it is for the ICC, whether and if so when, the fully reasoned decision in respect of the breaches of the Code and of the sanctions imposed in consequence should be published.”

Earlier on Friday, the tainted trio was also charged by Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) of taking bribes and defraud. The CPS also said that the players will face charges in a UK court.

While Amir was represented by Pakistani lawyer Karim, Butt was represented by a UK-based lawyer of Indian origin Yasin Patel and Asif by Alan Cameron.

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