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Butt, Asif should stop misleading Pakistani fans: ICC

Published Apr 23, 2013 08:18pm


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dave richardson, icc, salman butt, mohammad asif, mohammad amir, spot-fixing scandal, match-fixing
“The time has now come for them to stop misleading the public, especially the supporters of the Pakistan cricket team, and to publicly accept their parts in this corrupt conspiracy.” -Photo by AFP

DUBAI: ICC chief executive David Richardson Tuesday urged disgraced Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif to accept their guilt and share information on fixing to start their rehabilitation.

Former captain Butt, along with fast bowlers Asif and Mohammad Amir, was banned by the International Cricket Council 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, with five years suspended, and Asif was barred for seven years, with two suspended. Amir was banned for five years -- the minimum punishment in the ICC code.

All three along with their agent Mazhar Majeed were also jailed by an English court in 2011. The three players were released last year.

The Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) last week rejected appeals from Butt and Asif. Amir did not appeal after pleading guilty at his criminal trial.

Richardson urged the players to share any fixing information they have with the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Safety Unit (ACSU).

“I am certain that both Butt and Asif have information that can be of great assistance to the ACSU and its ongoing fight against corruption in cricket,” he said.

“I would, therefore, urge them, without any further delay, to start the process of rebuilding their lives and reputations by apologising for their actions and meeting with ICC's ACSU officials to come clean about what actually happened.”

Richardson said the players' guilt had been established at three different forums.

“The guilt of these men has now been established on three separate occasions, in three separate sets of proceedings, first, before the independent Anti-Corruption Tribunal, then in the English criminal courts, and now, finally, in the CAS,” he said.

Richardson, a former South African wicket-keeper batsman, said Butt and Asif must now accept their guilt.

“The time has now come for them to stop misleading the public, especially the supporters of the Pakistan cricket team, and to publicly accept their parts in this corrupt conspiracy,” he said.

The ICC anti-corruption tribunal had also directed that the trio undergo rehabilitation through the Pakistan Cricket Board or serve their full bans.

Richardson warned that fixing remained the biggest threat to the game.

“In my opinion, the single biggest threat to the viability and strength of cricket, both at international and domestic level, is that posed by those few unscrupulous individuals who, for unlawful financial reward, choose to engage in corrupt practices,” he said.

“The ICC and its member boards will continue to remain vigilant in our attempts to prevent corruption in the sport that we are charged with developing and protecting around the world.”

Pakistan's reputation in international cricket was further tarnished when leg-spinner Danish Kaneria was banned for life last year after an England and Wales Cricket Board panel found him guilty of paying money to Essex county team-mate Mervyn Wsetfield to underperform in a 2009 match.

Kaneria's appeal against the ban is being heard in London.

The ICC was forced to form its anti-corruption unit in 2001 after the game was rocked by match-fixing scandals resulting in life bans for former South Africa captain Hansie Cronje, India's Mohammad Azharuddin and Salim Malik of Pakistan.


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Comments (22) Closed

Ravi Apr 23, 2013 08:09pm
Cheats of Pakistan are ready to rock Pakistan again, this time they will fix in a different manner. Pakistan Zindabad!!!!!!!!
Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Apr 23, 2013 08:41pm
I fully agree with what the ICC chief executive David Richardson has said and recommended regarding the disgraced trio consisting of ex Pakistani national cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir. It is indeed the high time and the right time for these three 'green-shirts' cricketers who caused tremendous disgrace and 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 see the writing on the wall now and immediately repent both privately and publicly. They should show the true sportsman spirit (if they have some left in them) to admit their faults and guilt committed both on and off the cricket turf in the past. At the same time, they should show the guts and the grit to ask for forgiveness from Almighty God followed by saying 'sorry' to thousands of their peers, classmates, associates, sponsors, fans, supporters, pals as well as all countrymen and women whom they have let miserably down both domestically as well as globally. At the same time, they must realize, understand and analyze that this is not the end of world for them. However, in order to move on as they say in America with a clean and open mind, head and heart, they must first seek forgiveness and admit their faults and blunders now without wasting any more time and opportunity. In case they don't do so and still keep on living in a "fool's paradise" akin to an ostrich hiding his head in the sand and like majority of the Pakistani politicians then these three cricketers will have to tell thousands of more lies for many more years to come, which will be highly unfortunate to say the least.
ejaz Apr 23, 2013 05:52pm
every is against pakistan.
m h Apr 23, 2013 07:52pm
Totally agree. If the PCB had any sense they could have taken the opportunity to plea bargain with all three to root out corruption and clean up the game once and for all. But then that would have raised some very uncomfortable questions for a lot of people in high places in Pakistan.
skeptic Apr 23, 2013 05:21pm
Sad but true.
Chen Apr 23, 2013 10:52pm
Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif are disgrace to pakisatn .
Kesar Apr 24, 2013 12:07pm
I hope you feel better after getting this off your chest.
zia khan Apr 23, 2013 06:41pm
Good advice. They have not accepted their guilt publicly and should never be allowed to play for Pakistan. No more humiliation.
Zarak Mufti Apr 24, 2013 12:06pm
Given a choice between believing the ICC (with its history of anti-Pakistan bias), and the two players in question. I will take the word of the two players any day. And Mr. Richardson has some nerve expecting these players to come forward and help the ICC in identifying corruption and sharing information, its not like the ICC has shown them any leniency, or promised them something in return. How typical! Stand your ground Salman and Asif, you have nothing to lose! Let the ICC bleat away about how you owe them (the ICC) something, you owe them nothing!
Ajaz Haque Apr 24, 2013 01:03am
David RichRdson is absolutely right. But and Asif have been found guilty, served jail terms,lost all appeals, now it is time for them to com clean, admit what they did and apologize to the nation. Only then, can they start rebuilding their careers upon expiry of their respective bans. By pleading innocence, they are fooling no one except themselves.
Usman Apr 24, 2013 01:11am
I find myself in complete agreement with D. Richardson. Unfortunately, we don't have a culture of accepting responsibility, and the average Pakistani has no self respect. Our cricketers are no different.
Martha Apr 23, 2013 04:58pm
Pakistanis disgracing their nation......move along, nothing to see here
Ali S Apr 24, 2013 09:34am
And still not an ounce of shame in them. Truly a disgrace to their country. These guys should be pelted with bottles upon their arrival at Lahore airport.
Syed Apr 23, 2013 03:59pm
I seriously doubt that the two shameless guys, Asif and Butt who sold and disgraced their country will take any advise from ICC Chief. In Pakistan everything is viewed from spectacles of religion. Same in this case, where it is already seen as conspiracy of infidels against 'innocent' Pakistani bowlers.
Shahid Apr 23, 2013 03:44pm
Every word is a lesson, Pakistan and the guilty players should learn from it
Awais Lodhi Apr 24, 2013 05:19am
yes, about time they came clean, there should be zero tolerance for people who play with the name of the country.
ZF Apr 24, 2013 04:41am
I loved ICC for this act. We should learn to speak the truth as a nation. If we have done something wrong, which anybody in life can do as a human being, should apologize to Allah and to others and start a new life. This should be the way. Not like corrupt Pakistani politicians playing with the nation. I hope this also started applying at all levels in Pakistan including media and politics. Love to see their apologies now.
Naveed Apr 24, 2013 07:27am
Butt should be ashamed of himself. I don't see any regret on his face, I don't know who does he think he is?
Saj Apr 24, 2013 08:31am
Feel sorry for Amir, but these 2 should be banned for life for not admitting to it. Lie after Lie. You have been caught so deal with it. Its a loss for Pak Team, but others will come along.
asghar Apr 25, 2013 10:35am
i am amazed at your ethics, Hope your children have a better idol in life.
kirther Apr 25, 2013 12:21am
Regardless of what any body says Salman and Asif does not deserve any sympathy and must be banished, very much like the Saleem Malik and the South African Captain were treated in the past.
Zarak Apr 25, 2013 01:39pm
And I am amazed at your gullibility! Do you seriously think that this problem is limited to Pakistani players only? Yet the ICC chose to make an example of Pakistani players. Until the ICC starts going after players from other countries with equal gusto, Pakistani players should and the board should stop cooperating with the ICC on any investigations.