Apr 232013
 

Salman Butt speaks to the media after his ban was upheld, Lahore, April 17, 2013According to the ICC’s statement, Salman Butt “acknowledged his part in the fix before the CAS panel” © AFP
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Dave Richardson, the ICC’s chief executive, has urged banned Pakistan duo Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif to “publicly accept their parts” in corruption and to cooperate with the ICC’s anti-corruption and security unit (ASCU) and begin a rehabilitation program. Butt and Asif had appeals against their life bans from cricket dismissed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) last week.

Richardson’s comments came after the ICC had received full, written decisions on the verdicts from CAS, in which it was suggested that Butt had for the first time admitted to his involvement in spot-fixing during the 2010 Lord’s Test between England and Pakistan.

“The guilt of these men has now been established on three separate occasions, in three separate sets of proceedings, and in three separate forums,” Richardson said in a statement. “The time has now come for them to stop misleading the members of the public, especially the supporters of the Pakistan cricket team, and to publicly accept their parts in this corrupt conspiracy.

“I am certain that both Mr Butt and Mr Asif have information that can be of great assistance to the ACSU and its ongoing fight against corruption in cricket. 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 anti-corruption officials to come clean about what actually happened.”

After a hearing in February, CAS took two months to reject Asif and Butt’s appeals against the ICC bans they received in 2011 for their part in the spot-fixing scandal uncovered by an English newspaper in 2010. Asif had wanted the ICC ruling overturned while Butt asked for his ban to be reduced but CAS did not find any evidence to support either claim.

“We are pleased to note that the CAS panel rejected each and every one of the allegations that were made of prosecutorial misconduct by the ICC, and bias and incompetence on the part of the independent anti-corruption tribunal, thereby reinforcing that the players were treated fairly and in accordance with the principles of natural justice at all times,” Richardson said.

“In addition to the CAS finding Mr Asif a party to the conspiracy to act corruptly, it is also pleasing to note from the decisions that Mr Butt acknowledged his part in the fix before the CAS panel.”

ESPNcricinfo understands that if during the first five years of their bans the players do not take part in any educational programme, the extra suspended element will come into effect – five years for Butt and two for Asif. The extensions can be waived only if they take part in a PCB anti-corruption education programme. Both players have so far refused to accept their part in public, despite being found culpable on three separate occasions: first, by the ICC’s independent anti-corruption tribunal, then in the English criminal courts, and finally before CAS, the ultimate appeal body in sport.

Butt apologised in public only for a “failure to report to the ICC” on his return to Lahore from London, after serving seven months of his 30-month jail sentence. Asif was also imprisoned in the UK, serving half of a 12-month term. Butt was recently asked if he admitted his part in the notorious spot-fixing episode but the former captain refused to respond.

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