LAHORE, June 28: Suspended former captain Salman Butt on Friday admitted to his involvement in the infamous spot-fixing scandal in England in 2010 while accepting the decision of an International Cricket Council (ICC) tribunal under which he is currently facing a ten-year ban.
The other two cricketers who featured in that scam are pace bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir.
“I admit the decision of the ICC tribunal [in spot-fixing case]. I have already asked apology from the cricket fans, the world over, and again asking it now from them, for being disappointed because of my action. I would also like to apologise if the integrity of the game was suffered because of me,” Salman, 28, said in his first public apology for the offence during a brief media conference here on Friday.
“And I will advise the youngsters, who are playing or want to play cricket, to stay away from such wrongdoings, because it serves negative impact on them and the game too.”
Salman also requested the ICC to allow him to play domestic cricket so that he could keep himself fit for international cricket, which he was expecting to resume after two years.
It may be mentioned here that after this statement chances are bright for Salman that his total ten-year suspension will be reduced to five years. As he has completed three of those five years, he may be eligible to play domestic and international cricket from August 2015.
The trio of Salman, Asif and Aamir were caught in a spot-fixing scam through a sting operation launched by the now defunct News of the World during the Lord’s Test against England in August 2010. Asif and Aamir, in connivance with Salman, were found guilty of bowling predetermined no-balls in return for money during that Lord’s Test.
An ICC anti-corruption panel headed by Michael Beloff held the hearing in Doha, Qatar and after a six-day hearing it penalised all the three players in January 2011.
Salman, who started his Test career in the September 2003 Multan Test against Bangladesh, was served a 10-year ban, five years suspended, on condition that throughout that period, Salman will not commit further breach of the code and he participate in an anti-corruption rehabilitation programme under PCB’s supervision. After his confession, now Salman is also eligible for that rehabilitation programme.
“I would also want to give my availability for any rehabilitation programme of the PCB and the ICC,” he said on Friday.
Asif was barred for seven years, with two years suspended, while Aamir was banned for five years. Later, while Aamir made himself approver in the case, Salman and Asif launched appeals in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to get relief. Salman wanted to get his ban reduced while Asif contested to get the ICC ruling overturned. But the CAS upheld the punishments.
The three were also sent to jail for different period in England under the same charge by Southwark Crown Court in November 2011.