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January 12, 2011

Pakistan cricket

Justice is best delayed

Kamran Abbasi
Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif leave the team hotel in Taunton for London, Taunton, September 1, 2010
If any of the players emerges with a career that can be rescued, Pakistan fans should consider that a bonus  © Getty Images
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Pakistan's ex-cricketers are lining up to condemn a delay in the spot-fixing verdict. Zaheer Abbas, Asif Iqbal, Rashid Latif, and Sarfraz Nawaz have all joined the chorus. Yet they miss the point. It matters little whether or not these players are available for the next World Cup. How important is that tournament when the integrity of cricket and future of cricketers is at stake?

Above all, the verdict that Michael Beloff and his team reach must be a considered one based on the evidence that has been presented to them. They will understandably take some time to digest the events in Doha. At the end of that deliberation the verdict must be one that can be substantiated. Any verdict against the players will inevitably meet with an appeal, most likely against a process which the players and their legal representatives have already muttered about.

On the face of it -- and a behind-closed-doors hearing doesn't present much of a face --punishments can be expected. Salman Butt, in particular, must be dreading a life ban. Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir will be hoping that they have sufficiently distanced themselves from any evidence of corruption. But the ICC is clearly in no mood to allow the players to escape. If any of the players emerges with a career that can be rescued, Pakistan fans should consider that a bonus.

The players and the cricket world are in limbo until 5th February while lawyers mull what they have heard. In their hearts most Pakistan fans wish that Amir, at least, is somehow innocent. But smoke signals from Doha have not been encouraging, and the players look to have only earned a stay of execution.

The best supporters of Pakistan cricket, however, can only want a fair verdict. If any corrupt players are lost to international cricket then so be it.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

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Keywords: Corruption

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Posted by Khair on (January 20, 2011, 13:29 GMT)

It is just as well that the ICC is taking some time to come to a decision. Hopefully, this extended time will allow them to come to the most appropriate decision. It may even result in slightly more favourable outcomes from the perspective of many emotional supporters who are prepared to overlook blemishes on the part of the accused players. If the decision were to be taken hurriedly as some are demanding, I am afraid the outcome would have been very damning for the accused players. There should be no dilemma here. If fans really want good for the cricket of Pakistan, then it is important that the right decision is taken. The guilty ones should be exposed and punished and allowances should be made for any mitigating circumstances. If found not guilty they should be quickly exonerated.

Posted by faraz on (January 15, 2011, 20:23 GMT)

You will be seeing the proofs very soon as ICC have promised to show all the truths after the judgement...

Posted by Hammad Qadir on (January 15, 2011, 12:35 GMT)

As to why there are only 10 test playing nations. Well it is to maintain quality of cricket at the highest level. There is a reason why Australia has done so well over the years, and for that matter England are now taking the driving seat. It is because they have a select set of teams that compete in the top league. Do you really want to sit through countless matching round the year between Australia and Canada or a million "istans"? What would that serve? And this is the reason why Pakistan's domestic structure is so week.

And I agree with Kamran Abbasi. Whether these cricketers play in the world cup or not is irrelevant when you consider the larger picture. Besides, given the largely differing stories, it is no longer a binary affair.

And regarding the conspiracy theory, everything in this world is governed by economics. If anyone can tell me that there is monetary benefit associated with keeping these players on the sideline, then I am all ears.

Posted by Ibk on (January 14, 2011, 22:00 GMT)

A.Ali has made a good point here, which no one really is thinking. what proof does anyone have that proves beyond reasonable doubt that these players are guilty?

Can anyone tell me? Does anyone know?

Posted by Marlo on (January 14, 2011, 20:24 GMT)

@ANIK you are only partly right. On papirs yes, IPL is india's domestic tournament so any one complaining for non inclusion is wrong, but then tell me (1) why is BCCI asking ICC to provide a window for IPL so that players from all the nations can participate. Would ICC then provide the same to every other domestic league. (2) How does ICC allow India to conduct champions trophy. Isn't it as if Italy was allowed by EUFA to run football champions trophy for European clubs. Don't you think, it is a valid ICC event which is hijacked by BCCI and a couple of other greedy boards. (3) How does ICC let centerly contracted elite umpires officiate a domestic competition of a single country. (4) Don't you think, it was a cheep practice when pakistani players were invited by the frencises and BCCI to put forward there names only for them not to bid for any single player.

Posted by Saiful Ansari, VA USA on (January 14, 2011, 20:05 GMT)

ICC has dragged its feet for almost 6 months to try the 3 Pakistan players charged with spot fixing. One might say: they are innocent till proven guilty. Mr.Lorgat has reiterated that ICC has very compelling evidence against Butt, Amir & Asif. If that is right, why the ICC tribunal headed by M.Beloff needs till Feb 05, 2011 to give a verdict in the case? Is it fair for the ICC to suspend the accused players for months without pronouncing them guilty? Is there an Association of Professional Cricket players? If it exists, why it has not intervened on behalf of the players? If the accused are found not guilty can they sue ICC for defamation and loss of playing fees? The fans need answers to questions including the ones mentioned above. Justice delayed is justice denied. Deprived of the services of two quality bowlers Pakistan will play WC with diminished prospects of winning this prestigious event. Yet in every fans brave heart lurks a glitter of hope of triumph against heavy odds.

Posted by A.Ali on (January 14, 2011, 19:16 GMT)

Spot-fixing is a crime and this alleged crime was commited on British Soil and this is why Scotland Yard is investigating the alleged crime. If the players are charged of spot-fixing then the case will go to British Court System. 6 months have passed and Scotland Yard has not charged the 3 players, Why? because there is no concrete evidence against the 3 players. ICC's tribunal is not a court of law and they can accept any lame evidence or statements from shady charaters which may not hold up in proper court of law and a verdict based on their openions. If these players are not charged in British Court System ever, then I will consider this fiasko as Conpiracy by ICC against Pakistan Cricket.

Posted by ANIK on (January 14, 2011, 14:11 GMT)

someone dont understand if IPL has not taken any pakistani players in their local leage or if aus doesnt allow indians to play seffield shield its up to that organization and ICC and some persons speaking cannot change a thing. and obvious in the current setuation for the safety of paks cricketers it better not to be part of IPL as any one would find this oppertunity to disturb the IPL as it is a private party so they dont want pollitical or and other disturbance. even if there is any chance of termoil involving tendulkar or whole aus They would omit them as well. this is pure business not cricket only. SO when speak 1st read about IPL

Posted by Jim on (January 14, 2011, 11:52 GMT)

We all know that if these 3 players are cleared they can be selected for the WC and there is a chance for the pakistan team to win the title. Even the ICC know this. That is why the are delaying the verdict..... Otherwise there is no such reason for the verdict to be delayed. I am sure that the ICC will again postpone the verdict after February 5...

Posted by Ali on (January 14, 2011, 8:48 GMT)

6 months and still nothing. If they want to clear cricket from any type of corruption they have to act quicker than this. Either clear them or convict them and let's move on. Don't drag it forever.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kamran Abbasi
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and wisden.com. Kamran is the editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. @KamranAbbasi

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