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Cricket trio get lengthy bans


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spot fixing
This file combination of pictures show Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt, (L) Mohammad Asif (C) and Mohammad Aamer. - AFP Photo

DOHA: The ICC found three Pakistani players guilty of corruption on Saturday and banned each of them from cricket for at least five years in the sport’s biggest scandal of the past decade.

Former captain Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir received their punishment at an International Cricket Council tribunal in Doha. Butt was given a 10-year ban with five years suspended, Asif a seven-year ban with two suspended, while Aamir was banned for five years.

The players have 21 days to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland. “We will appeal to Court of Arbitration for Sport,” said Shahid Karim, Amir’s lawyer.

“This sentence is too harsh when Amir did nothing wrong. We are very confident that the arbitration court will give us a result in our favour.”

Amir said he was shocked and disappointed at being handed the ban. “I am shocked and hugely disappointed. I wasn’t expecting that much of a ban,” he said minutes after the tribunal hearing.

“I was confident that I will get away without any punishment, but this is very hard on me. I have just come out of the hearing and have told my family who have tried to console me.”

The players had been suspended since Sept 3 after a British tabloid alleged they bowled no-balls at prearranged times during the fourth Test between Pakistan and England in August at Lord’s to fix ‘spot-betting’ markets. It is alleged that The News of the World newspaper paid 150,000 pounds ($241,000) to the players’ agent, Mazhar Majeed.

Michael Beloff, the head of the ICC’s corruption unit, said the proven charges related to the Lord’s Test rather than a preceding match at The Oval.

“The tribunal found that... Mr Asif agreed to bowl and did bowl a deliberate no ball in the Lord’s Test match played between Pakistan and England from 26 to 29 August 2010, Mr Amir agreed to bowl and did bowl two deliberate no balls in the same Test, and Mr Butt was party to the bowling of those deliberate no balls, were proved,” Beloff said in a statement.

The tribunal cleared Butt of batting out a maiden over during the Test at The Oval for financial gain, but proved the charge against the opening batsman of failing to report an illegal approach by Majeed.

The players were mobbed by dozens of supporters when they walked out of the tribunal after the verdict was announced, the fans chanting slogans in support of them.

“The ruling is not fair. They (ICC) are doing it just to the Pakistan players,” said Yasir Ghumman, a 26-year-old Pakistani who works as a sales executive in Doha. “The World Cup will be starting soon and the ICC is just trying to pressurise Pakistan.”

Butt and Asif — who along with Amir had faced a six-day ICC hearing that ended on Jan 11 — will have to participate in an anti-corruption programme supervised by the Pakistan Cricket Board in order to not have the suspended part of their sentences imposed.

On Friday, Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service said the players and their agent would face criminal charges in that country, summoning them on charges of conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments and conspiracy to cheat.

CPS head Simon Clements said the organisation, which was responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by British police, believed it had enough proof to convict the players. “We are satisfied there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest to prosecute,” Clements said on Friday.—Agencies

Comments (62) Closed

senthil kumar Feb 05, 2011 08:19pm
they richly deserve this.this is a lesson for all who wants to involve in those activities
Aly Feb 05, 2011 08:22pm
Sheer talent gone to waste! If the Trio would have played for Pakistan in the world cup, Pakistan would surely have been one of the good contenders to lift up the trophy.
Gladiator Feb 05, 2011 08:23pm
I am very disturbed to see the duration of the ban imposed on Mohammad Amir whose magnificent career will never be what it could have been due to the ban despite his young age. Salman and Asif duly deserve it for their deeds. Aamir was the youngest and was simply asked by the Captain to do his bidding. Why was he punished severely eludes me. Nevertheless, whats done is done. Pakistan shall play without their best emerging talent and what could have proven to be the World Cup of the youngster given his past flashy performances. Absolutely everything has stopped going Pakistan's way it seems. Despondency and hopelessness cloud the future completely.
KM Feb 05, 2011 08:27pm
Good for them. Now they will have plenty of time to sit and think the shame and disrespect they have brought to Pakistan. Butt and Asif have made enough money to just sit and eat for the rest of their life. Amir on the other hand, is totally wasted. What can he do now? Nothing. Tax collectors in Pakistan should come after their illgotten wealth.
MUHAMMAD ABUBAKAR Feb 05, 2011 08:30pm
I think that the ICC was a little harsh on the players. Amir is a young player and his reputation and career is ruined. On the other hand, Pakistan needs the services of these players as the world cup approaches.
Saad Feb 05, 2011 08:31pm
Disappointed with the verdict. Salman, should have gotten at least life ban.
Saud Humayun Khokhar Feb 05, 2011 08:36pm
These disgraced trio Pakisani in fact disgraced Pakistan and they should face criminal charges in Pakistan and be severely punished and should serve jail time.
RM Feb 05, 2011 08:42pm
Not even an inquiry against Suresh Raina and Dilshan while Amir's captain confessed that he asked Amir to step closer to have a faster delievery but ICC seems more interested in keeping Amir out of even the next world cup. Haroon Logart is no more dissappointed and his appointed jury has served the master.
Mohammad Ali Chadda Feb 05, 2011 08:43pm
The charges laid out by the UK Crown Prosecution Service and now by the ICC confirm that these players had cheated. Now that they have been banned, I sincerely hope that the ICC does not reduce their punishments if they appeal. They must make an example out of them. Cricket should be the only winner.
salman ahmad khan Feb 05, 2011 08:43pm
Compensation is law of bowgay wohi kato gay but its a sad moment
Saad Feb 05, 2011 08:49pm
Bans alone may not work to eradicate the betting problem in our cricket. Sending them to detention centers with rigorous imprisonment may set an example for some of future match fixers. Pakistan should start criminal investigation against these players for bringing Pakistan's name into disrepute. They should be charged with treason, and corruption at least.
saad Feb 05, 2011 08:50pm
they got what they deserve. same fate awaits the government of pakistan!!!!
Zeeshan Feb 05, 2011 08:52pm
I am really disappointed because Pakistan name is draged in this embarressment. These players should have been banned for life. Anways, why PCB management is given easy life. Since all players are working under PCB code of conduct being monitored by PCB so they should be trialed as well in Pakistan. Someone should ask PCB how they have done it under the nose of PCB. I request honorable Chief Justice Supreme court to take action by himself against PCB chairman and all his management because Pakistan is facing this embarresement only due to their nonsenece policies.
Panhwar Feb 05, 2011 08:54pm
Shame on 'PCB' that the ICC is deciding that what to do with the players.. and the PCB is not sying anything to them..! and the amazing thing is that it is pre_planned work, to make the team as weaker as possible....!
Dr. Muhammad Ayyub K Feb 05, 2011 08:57pm
This is less punishment. They should be banned for life. Moreover, they should be criminaly charged in country, because they put the country at stake and brought bad name.
Azad Feb 05, 2011 08:59pm
Good for Pakistani Cricket
Syed Shah Feb 05, 2011 09:00pm
One thing I love about the West is that they will punish anyone for wrong doing. I wish the same panel was able to punish all the Pakistani politicians as well. When will we be free from all this corruption. May God rid us all from the evil doers.
Muhammad Bilal Feb 05, 2011 09:01pm
I am shocked by the decission especialy that of M.Amir the young and talented one.
Ahmed Feb 05, 2011 09:18pm
Sad Indeed! yet it is a wake up call for those who indulge in corruption, and disgrace their great country in the process.
asad Feb 05, 2011 09:25pm
another victory for the pakistani haters out there. Shame on us
Sajid Khan- Canada Feb 05, 2011 09:29pm
These players should face charges with in pakistan as their actions have caused embrassment to all pakistani. There is no conspiracy theory to make pakistan cricket weak. No matter how big of a player you are, if you break the law you should be punished. PCB managment should be held accountable and as pakistani our next step should be that. PCB is responsible to educate and monitor their players. Pakistan players are talented but lack structure and discipline which is soley PCB's responsibility. I request all media go after PCB and the chairman, as corruption is destroying our country and our sports.
Amirul Choudhury Feb 05, 2011 09:32pm
I was expecting life ban on all of them. These players should be imprisoned so that in future players think twice before they commit crime again.
Feroze Khan Feb 05, 2011 09:34pm
Let us trust the investigators that they did a fair job. These three had the best legal council that the money could buy. They could not buy, as we are generally used to, the judges. Greta loss to Pakistan? were they indispensible? Like the French President, Chales De Gaule said, "graveyards of this world are full of indispensible people".
NY Feb 05, 2011 09:34pm
Thank Allah the decision was made in Doha and not in London or Mumbai otherwise all our Muslim brothers would have been in an uproar that how the world is punishing them for being Muslim in spite of all the evidence against them.
De-Spun Feb 05, 2011 09:37pm
In response to 'Gladiator' That is fine but if ICC leaves the loose end by sparing Aamir then there is more probability of more 'Aamir's' may be again from Pakistan which will be disastrous.
Humair Feb 05, 2011 09:57pm
I think the investigation was fair and the sentences are fair too, young or not young, the penalty should be the same. Now I am wondering, if these guys will start revealing names of others involved.
syed ahmed Feb 05, 2011 10:04pm
they should be ban for life ,they sold our country dignity and pride p c b should be given them punish as well specialy butt ,asif i belived amir did what his captain toold him what i belived .
rishi Feb 05, 2011 10:06pm
This is a slap on the Pakistani cricket authorities whose ostrich like behavior has resulted this. Had they taken stern actions earlier cricket would not have maligned.
Nasir Ali Sheikh Feb 05, 2011 10:10pm
There is an old cliche - if you can't do the time, don't do the crime. They, including the youngest knew what they were doing. Greed, more money,shady deals were their motive. No sympathy for them.
A.M.A. Pira Feb 05, 2011 10:26pm
Being first time offender and immatured youth Amir should have been banned for not more than two years and since has earned illegal money should hve been fined not less than US$5000= His other colleagues have unnecessarily involved him in the crime and have now ruined his future.Butt was given a resposible position in the team and Aasif deserve to be imprisoned.
Ali Feb 05, 2011 10:38pm
serves them right for bringing shame and embarrassment to the country and their fans, the Akmal brothers who are equally corrupt have gotten away this time.
Rohit Sharma Feb 05, 2011 10:42pm
They should have been banned for life, except Aamer, he got what he really deserved. The ICC seems to have been lenient on the Pakistani players so that it doesn't seem that the world is against Pakistan.
aziz Feb 05, 2011 11:13pm
The players were following in the footsteps of the Pakistani politicians. They cricketing trio still have to come to the UK to stand criminal charges. At least outside Pakistan there is rule of law and individuals big or small are made to pay for criminality after a due process of law. Well done ICC!
Yousuf Feb 05, 2011 11:22pm
As said earlier, they should also be charged inside Pakistan and if possible some harsh ban and fines should be imposed in Pakistan as well. They have certainly brought disrepute to the country.
malik Feb 05, 2011 11:27pm
Last time I checked whole country was behind these players terming this as an international Saazish. Now what you have to say?
Abdul Jabbar Feb 05, 2011 11:29pm
The decision is too harsh and reflect the judges bias.These long bans means end of career. The judges are out of their mind.
Farhan Feb 05, 2011 11:36pm
Great work news of the world team, for uncovering this great conspiracy.. hope that this serves as a lesson to all those who intend to get involved in such crime.. FYI pakistan will lose the first match in worldcup
MQ Feb 05, 2011 11:48pm
ineligibility vs suspended sentence. CAn some body explain that? eg Butt 10 yr ineligibility and 5 yrs suspension?
Atique Feb 06, 2011 12:07am
Is there any tribunal where our corrupt leaders could also be tried for their corruption???
ajay singh Feb 06, 2011 12:31am
Though its catastrophic to lose a talent like Mohd Aamer in such a fashion, I think justice has been done. A decision like this was needed to make sure future generations think hundred times before indulging in such acts. We in subcontinent, both India and Pakistan, have been too lenient on corruption. Its times we learn something from the west.
John Feb 06, 2011 12:33am
The most appropriate punishment, to also serve as a detterent to others, should be lifelong ban.
Mansur from Namibia Feb 06, 2011 01:22am
I wish we could do the same for our corrupt politicans , we are plagued by corruption and this is the result..everyone wants easy money at the cost of their integrity..Shame
Selina Feb 06, 2011 01:28am
I'm quite surprised by the bans. I was expecting Butt to be banned for life, and Asif to get a similar time given all of his previous involvement in curruption. But I was not expecting the length of the ban on Amir. What a loss, what a waste. I think the ICC have been too soft on the first two and too harsh on the kid.
paragkumar Feb 06, 2011 01:30am
Please note that there is still a criminal case to answer in uk for these pathatic trio, who have brought shame on a nation and disrepute to the glorious game of cricket!!! all for what? for few dollars more!!!!1 sad,very sad!
Sethu Feb 06, 2011 01:45am
Its very sad to see Amirs immense talent would be wasted, I though he is another Akram in making.
foki Feb 06, 2011 01:47am
ths is not good yaaar..... asif is a good bowler.... the comety should bn hm for only 2-3 yrs not 5 yrs
laeeq Feb 06, 2011 02:16am
they should be banned for life and some jail and fine term too. this is a good lesson for rest of the players too. shame on you.
Riaz Feb 06, 2011 03:46am
all of them deserved for the punishment because they did cheat with the whole nation.They made our country image more worse. And they have proved that they have two steps ahead than politicians.
salim s Feb 06, 2011 05:51am
They deserve more n bigger punishment. Amir is young but law is equal. PCB is the biggest problem. They are corrupt too.
Mansoor Qureshi Feb 06, 2011 06:19am
Salman Butt and Asif are the main culprits to bring this disrepute to Pakistani cricket and also ruining the career of young talented cricketer, Mohmmad Amir. Nevertheless decision is fair. Butt, Asif and Amir asked for it and got it.No regrets
Irshad Feb 06, 2011 06:23am
I think banning Asif and Salman is just fine but ban on Amir is too harsh. 2 years was a sufficient amount of time to teach Amir a lesson but now his career is gone unless he has strength to maintain his talent for so long, it should be considered.
Mansoor Qureshi Feb 06, 2011 06:23am
Salman Butt and Asif are the main culprits to bring this disrepute to Pakistani cricket. and also ruining the career of young talented cricketer Mohmmad Amir. Nevertheless decision is fair. Butt, Asif and Amir asked for it and got regrets
goodverdict Feb 06, 2011 06:45am
a crime is a crime... period. No ifs whats buts! Ban all three.... cricket team not based on individuals but 11 players.
VINOD Feb 06, 2011 06:46am
It is very sad that consecutive Pakistan Govts have slowly created a belief in public that the entire world is constantly conspiring against them. Please get out of this mindset. In world affairs Pakistan is one tiny state lying in backward areas of Asia and no one has got time to conspire against them
sarabdeep Feb 06, 2011 07:24am
I thinkl this is a conspiracy against pakistan by the western media. No players from other countries have been targeted. It can't be that only pakistan's cricket players are the only ones stooping to this level. Shame to see such talent go to waste
Bashir Feb 06, 2011 08:23am
This is just the beginning. Wait till Zulqarnain Haider's family reaches the UK.
j s sidhoo Feb 06, 2011 08:23am
Harsh on Amir the other two deserved what they got
Aila Khan Feb 06, 2011 10:02am
I agree with Amirul Choudhury. A lifetime ban would have been more in line with the trio's actions.
ICC Feb 06, 2011 10:09am
Amir's punishment is a bit excessive
dr aejaz malik Feb 06, 2011 10:43am
i hope this will serve as good example for all those who think that they can get away with the law and rule. i feel more punishment will do justice to this case as they have maligned the name of country, islam and sports . put them in jails
Rashid Umer Feb 06, 2011 11:04am
This punishment is really nothing. This trio has tarnished Pakistan's image and i am afraid they did not get what they deserved. They should have been banned for life plus heavy penalties should have been imposed on them.
Zain S Feb 06, 2011 11:39am
You reap what you sow.