salman butt, mohammad asif, cas, spot-fixing scandal, match-fixing scandsrc=
Salman Butt. -Photo by Reuters

GENEVA: The Court of Arbitration for Sport on Wednesday said that it had rejected appeals against spot-fixing bans filed by disgraced former Pakistan cricket captain Salman Butt and fast bowler Mohammad Asif.

The ruling marked the final chapter in one of the biggest cricketing scandals of recent years and was hailed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) governing body as a vindication of its policies against cheating.

“The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeals filed by the Pakistani cricket players Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt against the decisions taken by the International Cricket Council Tribunal on 5 February 2011,” it said in a statement.

The Swiss-based court, whose arbitrators heard the two players' cases in February, noted that Asif had requested that his ban be overturned mainly on procedural grounds.

“However, the CAS Panel found that there was no evidence advanced by Mr Asif which clearly exculpate him,” it said.

“The Panel was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Asif was party to the spot-fixing conspiracy,” it added.

Butt, meanwhile, had not contested that he was liable for a penalty but had sought a reduction of his ban to below five years, the CAS said.

“However, the CAS Panel was not persuaded that the sanction imposed by the ICC Tribunal was disproportionate nor that any of the mitigating factors advanced by Mr Butt qualified as exceptional circumstances,” the court said.

Butt and two of his fast bowlers, Asif and Mohammad Amir, were all banned by the ICC in 2011 after being found guilty of deliberately contriving no-balls in return for money in the Lord's Test in England the previous year.

Butt received a 10-year ban, five years of which were suspended, and Asif was barred for seven years, with two suspended.

ICC chief executive David Richardson said the CAS rulings “vindicate and confirm the processes and procedures followed by the ICC over the past couple of years in respect of this important, sensitive and high-profile matter”.

“The decisions strengthen our resolve to always remain vigilant and keep the game clean at all cost, whilst continuing to educate the players about the threats and ways to combat the challenges faced by our sport,” he said in an emailed statement.

Despite losing the appeal, Butt remained hopeful of making a comeback once his ban ends. “I had 50-50 expectation from the appeal, but now I have to finish the two year and four months ban,” he said in Pakistan.

“I have high hopes of resuming my career because I am 28 years old and our current captain is 39 and the vice captain is 33,” Butt added, referring to Misbah-ul Haq and Mohammad Hafeez respectively.

Butt said the last three years were the most difficult of his life.

“This was the most difficult period,” said Butt, who made his debut in 2003.

“I will be 30 by the time the ban is finished. Let's see if the motivation is still there.

“I am trying to keep myself fit and motivated.”

The now-defunct British newspaper the News of the World exposed the players in a sting operation involving their agent Mazhar Majeed who struck a deal for 150,000 pounds ($230,000) with an undercover reporter.

All three men were jailed in England in November 2011 over the scandal -- which was linked to illegal betting -- and were released last year after completing half of their sentences.

Amir pleaded guilty in court and decided not to appeal the five-year ban imposed by the ICC.

Asif played 23 Tests and 38 one-day internationals and was regarded as one of the best new-ball bowlers in the world.

Butt was made Test captain on the tour of England while Amir, a teenager at the time of the scandal, was regarded as the fastest emerging bowler in the world.

The high-profile case was just one among a litany of corruption and fixing incidents to tarnish the name of Pakistani cricket.

In 1994 captain Salim Malik was alleged to have offered bribes to Australian players Shane Warne, Tim May and Mark Waugh to underperform during matches on the tour. He was later banned for life.

Earlier this month Pakistan banned two umpires, including an international, after finding them guilty of being willing to spot-fix for money following a sting operation by Indian TV.


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Comments (24) Closed




Usi
Apr 17, 2013 10:51am
this is disgraceful. He should not have the courage to show his face in the public. He cheated!
Aamir Cheema
Apr 17, 2013 11:17am
well done, at least youngsters and we old guns now know that there is a price for money and it is too high in terms of self respect and family name; but only for those who value this not for these disgracers trio.
Waqas
Apr 17, 2013 11:17am
spin bowler Mohammad Asif?
hammad
Apr 17, 2013 11:21am
OH mohammad asif...... :(
ehsan
Apr 17, 2013 11:23am
Cheats got what they deserved.
Oz
Apr 17, 2013 11:28am
The fact that he and Asif have gone to CAS, funded out of their own pockets is credible enough to suggest there is some element of unfairness in ICC investigation or the one sided trial in the British courts. M.Amir was either very very clever in doing what he did and got these two into trouble, or may be justice has been served. This case will forever remain controversial. ICC should have conducted an impartial investigation in a neutral court in the first place. IF Butt and Asif are not guilty, I can only imagine what they must be going through.. their pride, honour and dignity is at stake here.
Aftab
Apr 17, 2013 11:56am
Now we are talkin'... :)
Burki
Apr 17, 2013 12:13pm
yes, during his suspension years, he has converted himself into a spin bowler now! wake up.. Dawn ...LOL
chand
Apr 17, 2013 12:54pm
You should remember that Asif has a previous.
Shahab
Apr 17, 2013 01:06pm
If Asif is a spin bowler, Salman Butt must be a right-handed batsman, and they both received awards from the ICC instead of bans.
Asif Kashmiri
Apr 17, 2013 01:14pm
they deserved it... one should have some shame...
Amz
Apr 17, 2013 01:26pm
LOL at SPIN Bowler Asif
Nasr
Apr 17, 2013 04:15pm
They should be still behind the bars.
Nasr
Apr 17, 2013 04:20pm
What are you talking about I don't know. The whole world is a witness of their wrong doing and bringing disgrace to my motherland. Kaneria, Empire Ghori & Siiddique are the latest culprit. These all need to face justice otherwise we are for sure doomed as a nation.
saeed tahir
Apr 17, 2013 05:48pm
one thing i don't understand that these guys were on the pay roll of PCB and they have cheated Pakistani nation,but there is no case against them in Pakistan, Pakistani authorities hasn't check their assets or properties,why do we charge them and put them on trail in Pakistan on cheating PCB and Pakistani nation.
Junaid
Apr 17, 2013 06:53pm
I wish these players could accept their cheating to their fans and be sorry for it, like young Mohammad Amir. I have more respect for Amir due to his guts to admit his mistake and not to do it again.
Sam
Apr 17, 2013 08:11pm
I support Pakistani team but these players brought shame to the nation and got what they deserved...remember Asif was also caught with drugs in dubai. We dont need them we dont miss them and they can stay out - only give Aamir an outside chance but God knows if he will produce at same level....or will be able to make it back to national side at all
majid canada
Apr 17, 2013 10:06pm
i think you have not even read the article properly.it says that asif did not fight for being innocent but against the procedure that was used for conviction and butt only appealed against the length of his punishment.so both of them actually are admitting their guilt.case closed.
MR (Canada)
Apr 18, 2013 01:24am
Honour and Dignity! What the hell are you talking about! They were representing me and other Pakistani cricket fans. They sold us and cheated us for a few thousand pounds. If PCB cannot ban them for life due to any legality, there is no way that they can be selected to represent Pakistan again. As for funding for the adjudication out of their own pocket, their pocket has money which they got by selling out the Pakistani fan and Pakistani brand. This brand was established by the likes of Fazal Mahmood, Hanif Mohammed, Kardar, Miandad, Zaheer Abbas, Imran Khan, Wasim Bari, Mushtaq Mohammed, Saeed Anwar, Wasim, Waqar and many others like that. They should be completely ostracized by the Pakistani cricket establishment and fans.
paki
Apr 18, 2013 01:40am
all 3 were guilty no doubt. if you go back to the timeline when this started, the very next day when butt was facing the media, he never once said 'i'm innocent. this is a trap'..or something like that. an innocent person will always cry his innocence first and foremost. but Butt said many times 'nothing is yet proven against me'. even at the hearing they didn't claim innocence but tried to reduce their bans. which innocent person would do that?? take danish kaneria for example. he is fighting to clear his name not reduce his ban from life to few years. that i feel is innocence. amir accepted his guilt. so when he is back i will not have anything against him nor should anyone else in the world. everyone deserves a 2nd chance. if it wasn't for a 2nd chance then bouth mark waugh and shane warne would've ended their career in disgrace! the important thing is to accept your mistakes and ask for forgiveness. as for asif and butt, they still don't accept they did wrong even though all the evidence points against them. so if they want to be back at any level, say i did it and i'm sorry. then people will start to think about forgiving them.
waqas
Apr 18, 2013 05:38am
Both are talented players, but sad end for both.. :)
Iqbal
Apr 18, 2013 07:16am
good for them and good for Pakistan.... they disgraced their sports, their fans, and their country
s.r.hunxai
Apr 18, 2013 08:13am
yesterday i was watching him he said "Allah ny chaha to pakistan to represent kron gaa'' ja Allah ny chaha tha aur tmhain pakistan represent krny ka chance mila tab tum ny pakistan k sath kia kiya....
Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad
Apr 18, 2013 08:10pm
'As you sow so shall you reap' is the centuries old phrase which is also 100 percent true in real life including in the case of these three disgraced 'green-shirts' cricketers. Its the high time and the right time for these three cricketers who brought a bad name and shame to their families, their country, their team as well as to all cricketers hailing from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to repent both privately and publicly. At the same time, they should show the guts and the grit to ask for forgiveness from Almighty God followed by saying sorry to their fans, supporters, sponsors, peers, pals, associates, classmates, countrymen and women. For sure, this is not the end of world for them. Nevertheless, they must seek forgiveness and admit their faults and blunders now. Otherwise, like the Pakistani politicians, in order to just protect one lie, these three cricketers have to tell thousands of more lies for many more years to come in their lives. Pakistan Zindaa Baad, true and partiotic Paksitani cricketers, paeendaa Baad.