Apr 172013

Appeals of former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt and Muhammad Asif which they filed against the ICC bans on them which they received in 2011 because of their involvement in spot-fixing scandal has been rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

An independent anti-corruption tribunal, headed by Michael Beloff QC in Doha sentenced Salman Butt 10-year ban from all forms of cricket after six-day hearing in the second week of January 2011.

Beloff stated that five years of that ban were suspended on condition that, throughout that period, Butt committed no further breach of the code and that he participate in anti-corruption education programs under the supervisions of the PCB.

Muhammad Asif was sentenced of seven-year ban from all forms of cricket. Among them two years of band were suspended with the same conditions as Butt to perform anti-corruption programs.

Southwark Crown Court in November 2011 found Asif, Butt and Amir guilty on charges of conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments over deliberate no-balls bowled during the Lord’s Test between Pakistan and England in August 2010.

Salman Butt wanted CAS to reduce his ban term while Asif wanted CAS to overturn the ICC ruling. Muhammad Amir decided not to appeal against the ICC ban against him.

All three players served time. Butt served seven months of a 30-month prison sentence, Asif was released from Canterbury Prison in Kent on June 3, 2012 after he served half of a year-long sentence while Amir spent three months in a young offenders’ institution after admitting his charge at a pre-trial hearing.

While Court of Arbitration for Sport didn’t find evidence supportive enough to give them relief. The appeal panel “was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Asif was a party to the spot-fixing conspiracy.”

A statement said: “The CAS Panel found that there was no evidence advanced by Mr Asif which clearly exculpated him and that his submissions did not break the chain of circumstantial evidence or in any way undermine the reasoning contained in the ICC’s Tribunal’s decision.”

In regard to Butt, the CAS statement said: “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.”

Reports are here that Salman Butt might would continue to assess his options, his lawyer for the CAS hearing, Yasir Shah, “He will have to continue with the five -year ban and less than two-and-half-years is left at the moment. And I hope Salman Butt sees out that time and return back to cricket,” Patel told ESPNcricinfo. “Your natural reaction is of disappointment and Salman would be a Superman if he wasn’t being that way right now. But it is a time for him and his family to have a bit of time off, reflect on the decision and take it in.”

Dave Richardson, the ICC chief executive, was pleased with the outcome. “The ICC notes and welcomes the decisions of the CAS as they 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.”

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