Asif, Butt set to contest ban at CAS
Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt are set to appear before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, to appeal against the ICC's ban for spot-fixing. Asif* will have his case presented by his lawyer Ravi Sukul through teleconference today and tomorrow, but he will appear before the court on February 7. Butt will be accompanied by his solicitor Yasin Patel when he appears before the court on February 8.
Both Asif and Butt have served approximately two-and-a-half years of their seven and ten-years bans respectively (with the possibility of a suspended sentence after five years).
Mohammad Amir, the third player to be sanctioned, has decided not to appeal against the five-year ban against him. The ban doesn't permit the players to take part in any official match, international, domestic or club, until at least September 2015.
Apart from being sanctioned by the ICC, the trio was also found guilty by Southwark Crown Court in November 2011, on charges of conspiracy to cheat and accept corrupt payments over deliberate no-balls. After being implicated, Butt served seven months of his 30-month jail sentence, Asif six months of a year-long term, while Amir spent three months in a young offenders' institute.
Asif was released from Canterbury Prison in south-east England after completing half of his one-year sentence in May 2012 while in June, Butt was released from prison seven months into his 30 month sentence.
Butt since his release has been pressing for his innocence and asserted that he didn't fix or influence any of the bowlers to bowl a no-ball. "I have no links with spot-fixing nor I have ever entertained any offer, nothing ever practically happened in a match that was linked to any offer," he told reporters on his return to Pakistan last year. "Of spot-fixing or any fixing, I never asked anyone to do anything or bowl any no-balls, I am not associated with it.
Butt, 28, had also hinted to lodge an appeal with the International Criminal Court, but decided against it due to the expense involved and the lengthy duration of the proceedings.
* February 5, 2013 11.30am This story incorrectly said that Mohammad Asif was already in Switzerland. He is set to reach there on February 6. The length of the players' bans has also been corrected.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent