Suspended Pakistan trio's appeals to be heard in Qatar
The appeals of the three Pakistani players against the provisional suspensions imposed on them by the ICC in the wake of the spot-fixing scandal will take place in Doha, Qatar on October 30 and 31.
Michael Beloff QC, the head of the ICC code of conduct commission, will hear the appeals of Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, the trio who were charged for various offences on September 2 after the News of the World allegedly exposed a plan to bowl deliberate pre-planned no-balls during the fourth Test between England and Pakistan at Lord's.
Butt, Pakistan's captain during the Test, filed his appeal last week while the appeals of Asif and Amir were received by the ICC this week. The dates of the appeal means the trio will miss, at the very least, the two T20Is and two ODIs of Pakistan's series against South Africa in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Beloff is the president of the British Association of Sport and Law. He attended Eton and Oxford, and was president of Trinity College from 1996 to 2006. Time included him in its 2008 list of the 100 most influential lawyers in Great Britain, while Legal Business called him one of the top ten barristers of the decade in 1999.
There had been speculation in Pakistan over the choice of venue for the hearings; some reports suggested the players were not keen on the hearings taking place in London, wary of a potentially hostile environment with extensive media coverage. One of the lawyers, however, denied this, telling ESPNcricinfo no such requests were made. Dubai, the home of the ICC, was also out of the question as Asif is barred from entering the UAE following a detention in 2008 for a drug-related offence. Doha was thus chosen after consultation between the ICC and the players.
"It is important to understand that the appeals are against the provisional suspension only and will not consider the substantive charges that were laid against the players on 2 September 2010," Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, said in a statement. "In the meantime, the players remain provisionally suspended from all cricket and related activities."
The case marks the first time the ICC has provisionally suspended players under its anti-corruption code. The clause for provisional suspension was included in the Anti-Corruption Code for Players and Player Support Personnel less than a year ago, and came into force on October 6, 2009 after unanimous approval from all ICC member nations.