Spot-fixing April 17, 2013

CAS rejects Butt, Asif appeals against ICC ban


The Court of Arbitration for Sport has rejected the appeals of Salman Butt, the former Pakistan captain, and Mohammad Asif against the ICC bans they received in 2011 for their part in the spot-fixing scandal.

After a six-day hearing in Doha in the second week of January 2011, an independent anti-corruption tribunal, headed by Michael Beloff QC had handed Butt a 10-year ban from all forms of cricket. Beloff stated that five years of that ban were suspended on condition that, throughout that period, Butt committed no further breach of the code and that he participate in anti-corruption education programmes under the supervisions of the PCB.

Asif was given a seven-year ban, two years of which are suspended with the same conditions as Butt to perform anti-corruption programmes.

Asif wanted the ICC ruling overturned while Butt wanted his banned reduced, but CAS did not find any evidence to support either claim. The appeal panel "was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Asif was a party to the spot-fixing conspiracy."

A statement said: "The CAS Panel found that there was no evidence advanced by Mr Asif which clearly exculpated him and that his submissions did not break the chain of circumstantial evidence or in any way undermine the reasoning contained in the ICC's Tribunal's decision."

In regard to Butt, the CAS statement said: "The CAS panel was not persuaded that the sanction imposed by the ICC Tribunal was disproportionate, nor that any of the mitigating factors advanced by Mr Butt qualified as exceptional circumstances. "

Although there were reports that Butt would continue to assess his options, his lawyer for the CAS hearing, Yasin Patel, said serving the remainder of the ban was all that was left for him although still hoped his client could return to cricket.

"He will have to continue with the five -year ban and less than two-and-half-years is left at the moment. And I hope Salman Butt sees out that time and return back to cricket," Patel told ESPNcricinfo. "Your natural reaction is of disappointment and Salman would be a Superman if he wasn't being that way right now. But it is a time for him and his family to have a bit of time off, reflect on the decision and take it in."

Dave Richardson, the ICC chief executive, was pleased with the outcome. "The ICC notes and welcomes the decisions of the CAS as they vindicate and confirm the processes and procedures followed by the ICC over the past couple of years in respect of this important, sensitive and high-profile matter.

"The decisions strengthen our resolve to always remain vigilant and keep the game clean at all cost, whilst continuing to educate the players about the threats and ways to combat the challenges faced by our sport."

Butt, Asif and Mohammad Amir had been found guilty at Southwark Crown Court in November 2011, on charges of conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments over deliberate no-balls bowled during the Lord's Test between Pakistan and England in August 2010.

Amir, the third player to be caught in the News of the World sting, decided not to appeal against the five-year ICC ban against him. The ban does not permit the players to take part in any official match - international, domestic or club - until at least September 2015.

All three players served time. Butt served seven months of a 30-month prison sentence, Asif was released from Canterbury Prison in Kent on June 3, 2012 after he served half of a year-long sentence while Amir spent three months in a young offenders' institution after admitting his charge at a pre-trial hearing.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Cricket on April 18, 2013, 16:39 GMT

    In the accompanying news Zaka Ashraf has offered a rout to come back for Asif and Butt. THIS HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE PROBLEM WITH PCB.

    A. They never take any action against such problems.

    B. When the ICC has taken the initiative, the PCB is eager to get them back. As if there are no more players or younsters in Pakistan.

    Anyways looking at the larger picture, WHAT MESSAGE IS BEING SENT TO THE UPCOMING YOUNSTERS ?.

    Also Pakistan never punishes dropped cathes (Kamran Akmal).


  • Israr on April 18, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    Asif, great player but one bad apple. Their isn't shortage of talent in Pakistan, just unfortunate to not get the opportunity.

  • PAKISTANi on April 18, 2013, 7:22 GMT

    I want to see Amir ASAP in Green, he is not that bad! Just trapped!

  • suhail on April 18, 2013, 4:53 GMT

    Beting is evil in all circumstances. As long as they allow '(il)legal beting' the scope for corruption will always be there. Ban all the beting syndicates. that is the only solution.

  • Janaka on April 18, 2013, 4:03 GMT

    They should have thought about this before doing it. Of course it's a pathetic scenario, but, this is really good to punish them, so that others, especially youngsters realize that this sort of action must be avoided. Had they given chance, could have been the opening gates for an era of evil behavior in cricket, which is always peeping at the other end.

  • Jo on April 18, 2013, 3:23 GMT

    I truely feel for Asif and Amir getting into this. They should try to pursue better careers with the lessons learnt from the slap they got. They both are capable individuals, but learn to be aware of how to discipline themselves, instead of some use for nothing foxes, decide their fate. I would love to see Pak team with likes of Asif and Amir demolishing english, at their own back yard, and drubbing them with a 5-0 or 3-0 however many matches played.It will be sweat.

  • Dummy4 on April 17, 2013, 23:57 GMT

    ak_dragon - Please dont speak for all Pakistanis, its just 'you' who dont want them to play....

  • manzar on April 17, 2013, 23:31 GMT

    Great verdict from CSA. Whole Pakistani nation are proud, hope Pakistani team will take positive from CAS judgement, well done!!!!

  • Chris on April 17, 2013, 22:22 GMT

    Coming from an Aussie supporter, I had been a huge fan of Asif. What a shame we never got to see his full potential.

  • Peter on April 17, 2013, 21:43 GMT

    They have disgraced this great game. They should have been treated the same way they treated the game.

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