Spot-fixing controversy October 31, 2010

Butt and Amir's appeals dismissed

ESPNcricinfo staff

Salman Butt and Mohammad Amir remain provisionally suspended by the ICC on charges of spot-fixing after their appeals were rejected during a two-day hearing in Dubai.

Michael Beloff, the ICC code of conduct commissioner who chaired the hearing, said the players - who cannot appeal this verdict - will now appear before an independent anti-corruption tribunal that will look into the actual charges and give a verdict on whether the players are innocent or guilty.

"Having considered every aspect of the case I dismiss their appeals and they remain suspended," Beloff told reporters outside ICC headquarters. "The players have denied the charges, but they will remain suspended before a code of conduct commission is formed to hear the case.

"It was not up to me to decide whether they committed any crime, the commission will establish their guilt and if they are found guilty then they will be given punishment as per the ICC code of conduct."

There is no time limit for when the tribunal will be set up, the ICC saying in a statement only that it will happen in "due course." The ongoing criminal case against the players in the UK - where Scotland Yard has handed over evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service - is likely to factor into any decision on when the hearing happens.

Butt's lawyer Khalid Ranjha indicated there was a 40-day time frame, but that span works from the day of the suspensions on September 2. That has since elapsed by mutual consent between players and the ICC, so that any date will now be as soon as practicable. "The decision has left us unhappy," he told reporters. "The hearing was fair and thorough, and now we have 40 days to fight the disciplinary case and we will decide our course of action."

The PCB's legal adviser Taffazul Rizvi said the decision was within the ICC jurisdictions and will not affect the actual case itself.

Mohammad Asif, who chose to withdraw his appeal, also remained provisionally suspended, along with Butt and Amir, from all forms of cricket pending the outcome of the independent anti-corruption tribunal, which will hear their disciplinary cases in due course.

The three players, prior to the suspensions, were charged with various offences under Article 2 of the ICC's anti-corruption code. The suspensions came after the News of the World tabloid claimed to have exposed a scam in which deliberate, planned no-balls would be bowled by Amir and Asif during the Lord's Test against England, with the involvement of Butt, who was then captain.

These hearings only concerned itself with the matter of the provisional suspensions and whether or not the ICC followed the correct procedures in taking that action. The matter of the players' innocence or guilt and the actual charges against them was not heard.

Butt was represented by his lawyer Aftab Gul, a former Test cricketer, and Ranjha, a former law minister. Amir was represented by Shahid Karim, the lawyer who defended Asif in a doping case in October 2006.