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Butt, Amir maintain innocence, will appeal


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Pakistan's disgraced former captain Salman Butt, center, walks towards his car upon his arrival at Allama Iqbal Airport in Lahore, Pakistan on Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011. – AP

KARACHI: Salman Butt and Mohammad Amir returned to Pakistan on Sunday and pledged to clear their names of corruption charges that earned them bans of at least five years each from an International Cricket Council (ICC) tribunal.

Former test captain Butt and pace bowlers Amir and Mohammad Asif were found guilty of corruption by the tribunal on Saturday in Doha.

Butt was banned for 10 years with five of them suspended if the 26-year-old does not re-offend and takes part in a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) anti-corruption campaign.

Asif, 28, was banned for seven years with two suspended under the same terms as Butt, while 18-year-old Amir was given a straight five-year ban.

Only Amir, whose lawyer said he would appeal, has a realistic chance of playing international cricket again.

Five-year bans were the minimum an independent three-man tribunal could impose under the ICC's anti-corruption code once it had concluded that Butt, Asif and Amir were guilty of spot-fixing in the fourth test against England last August.

Butt and Amir encountered no hostile reception when they exited the airport and both maintained their innocence.

“I am innocent of the charges made against me and I stand by what I say. I will not rest until I get the ban overturned,” Butt told reporters at the airport.

“I don't think our arguments were heard properly and the ban is unjustified.”

Amir expressed similar concerns with the hearing.

“I am innocent and I was confident they would clear me. The ban came as a total shock,” he said.

“We are waiting for the ICC to release the detailed judgement of the tribunal after which we will decide what to do but we have made up our minds to appeal the ban in the first instance.”

Butt said he wanted to see the detailed judgement to find out on what grounds the tribunal had handed down such lengthy bans.

“We will appeal the ban once we get the judgement and study it. But we definitely want to clear our names from this ban,” he added.

Comments (13) Closed

Ifti Feb 06, 2011 02:31pm
I guess Scotland Yard will have the last say in all this, since they will come with hard evidence, just like ICC. Hope other team members are taking a lesson from this. PCB should be abolished and ICC should appoint, for a period, an interim board for Pakistan.
khalid Feb 06, 2011 03:32pm
i think in the case of amir icc should differentiate between punishment and rehablitation, he is under age, and deserve a chance to make his attitude better.
M.A Feb 06, 2011 04:05pm
I think the players should be a little realistic now , claiming against the BAN and the decision of the ICC means they will proved the ICC judgment to be totally WRONG and will be free again, It looks unrealistic because the decision will have been made on some firm proves , How can you say the whole ICC bench is a lair . In short The players has nothing to say more so they just want to disperse the crowd by saying this irrelevant claims....
JinnahsPakistan Feb 06, 2011 04:31pm
Butt and Asif are finished. Aamir has a chance if he cleans up his act.
Mohammad Masood Feb 06, 2011 05:03pm
We as Pakistanis citizen should file a petition against ICC and get signatures from all the cricket playing nations to demad the removel of the punishment. I am ready to sign one and go to the court. The punishment, in no way commensurates with the crime- spot fixig that has no bearing on the result of the game.
Syed Hasan Feb 06, 2011 05:06pm
Amir should take this time to go back to school and finish a degree in these five years so he has life beyond cricket after he retires (if he ever comes back to cricket). This way he will be less tempted to be a corrupt, lying, country-betraying.... He should also train daily and make his body much stronger than what it is now, in order to avoid injury. In my eyes justice is still not served. These corrupt people should all be banned for life from the support. We don't need their "talent".
UZA Syed Feb 06, 2011 05:24pm
The punishment is too lenient ---- big mouth, shameless people can not be shamed by such penalties. BCCP must impose life time ban on at least some of them, Butt deserves is most, not only his larger role in this crime but shooting his even bigger mouth in defense of his crime. Let's make them an example to warn the rest of our players and those to follow ---- a crime will not be condoned, no matter what and no mater how great a player you are or WERE!
Omar Feb 06, 2011 05:27pm
I was a little sympathetic for Amirs cause when the verdicts were delivered. That changed the moment he began voicing his opinions, these guys are obviously crooks and were caught as red handed as they come in a conspiracy to defraud. It is pretty clear what went down. They were given a fair hearing and they failed to prove their innocence. It is pathetic to see them trying to ride the 'its a western conspiracy!' wave to manipulate the common man. They are insulting the average citizens intelligence with their pocket full of lies. They should have had the decency to apologize to their fans, their countrymen whose image they further tarnished in the world with their greed. Shame on them.
waja la messi Feb 06, 2011 05:46pm
get a life....... Why do we see everthing as a conspiracy against pakis @ islam and all. Man these guys are cheats and they deserved what they got. Move on sign a petition to get cheap electricity instead.
Mahad Feb 06, 2011 05:54pm
Dude wake up! What they did was wrong and simply they need to get punish. Shame on them...and shame on people who support them.
Shahid Hussain Feb 06, 2011 05:57pm
I believe they punishment given is based on some grounds as ICC is aware it can be challenged from the very begining we have been reading inconsistent comments from all three of them and Asif became hostile to Butt shows that the game plan is drawn by Butt. They should quietly accept the verdit and plea for review since Scotland Yard will not file the formal charges if they were not sure of hard evidence collected against them. We as a nation and as a community has to learn lesson from this and try to stay away from controversies and play teh gentlemens game as its supposed to be played. I ask one question their are several countries playing cricket why finger is only pointed towards Paksitani Cricketers most of the time. May be its lack of education or we do not have care about anything and take things easy without impicating the after effects of teh actions taken. May Allah bless our country and give guidence to our cricketers and to the nation in general taht we should be known and refered as an example to others. God bless Pakistan
Srispiky Feb 06, 2011 06:06pm
hey man... r u mad? look at the cooments made by international players on spot fixing, u will come to know on their standing on the punishment....... infact many would have felt happy for the punishment given....... is there anyone to point out his finger at BCCI, conspiracy theorists?...
J.Nasir Feb 06, 2011 06:12pm