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ICC Bans Three Pak Players In Spotfixing Case

Doha, Feb 5 :  Former captain Salman Butt was banned for ten years, while fast bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif were banned for  five years and seven years respectively  on Saturday after they were
PTI February 05, 2011 22:43 IST
PTI
Doha, Feb 5 :  Former captain Salman Butt was banned for ten years, while fast bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif were banned for  five years and seven years respectively  on Saturday after they were found guilty of corruption by an International Cricket Council (ICC) tribunal.

A statement read out at the tribunal said: "The tribunal heard the charges as Aamer agreed to bowl no-balls, and did bowl no-balls and Butt was party to the bowling of those deliberate balls, and the tribunal impose the following sanctions.

"On Butt ten years ineligibility, five years of which are suspended on the condition that he doesn't commit further breaches of the code, and that he participates under the auspices Pakistan Cricket Board in a programme of anti-corruption education.

"On Asif, a sanction of seven years of ineligibility, two years of which are suspended on the condition that he commits no further breach of the code and also participates in an anti-corruption programme.

"On Aamer a sanction of five years ineligibility. No further sanctions are imposed on any player."

The decisions came after a lengthy nine-hour hearing at the Qatar Financial Center, and following much argument after the players' lawyers requested the verdict be adjourned as it could affect the criminal case against the players in London.

The charges relate to alleged incidents during a Test match against England at Lord's last year, when Britain's News of the World newspaper claimed the players were willing to deliberately bowl no-balls.

The newspaper alleged the players, who are currently provisionally suspended from international cricket, had colluded in a spot-fixing betting scam organised by British-based agent Mazhar Majeed.

The members of the tribunal, headed by Michael Beloff, heard the case for six days last month before deferring the announcement on the request of players' lawyers.

Last month Beloff revealed that while Asif and Aamer were absolved of the charges relating to another match, the third Test at The Oval (played before the Lord's match) one charge against Butt remained under investigation.

In a separate development on Friday, British prosecutors charged the three players as well as their agent with corruption offences and summoned them in court on March 17.

The Pakistan trio have repeatedly denied wrongdoing and had shown confidence of resuming their careers.

The bans on Pakistan players have come just a fortnight before the tenth World Cup starts in the sub-continent, highlighting the difficult times the game of cricket is facing against corruption.

Butt, Aamer and Asif became the first players banned in spot-fixing, the latest innovation in which players obey specific orders during the game pre-arranged with bookmakers.

The players have 21 days to appeal against the sanctions in the Court of Arbitration for Sport, based in Switzerland.