CAS rejects Butt, Asif appeals against ICC ban

Umar Farooq

April 17, 2013

Comments: 46 | Text size: A | A

Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt, London, November 1, 2011
Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt have failed in their appeals to CAS © AFP

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

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Posted by Sports4Youth on (April 18, 2013, 17:39 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).


Posted by Israr75 on (April 18, 2013, 10:57 GMT)

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

Posted by PAKISTANiLive on (April 18, 2013, 8:22 GMT)

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

Posted by itisme on (April 18, 2013, 5:53 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.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (April 18, 2013, 5:03 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.

Posted by GrindAR on (April 18, 2013, 4:23 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.

Posted by   on (April 18, 2013, 0:57 GMT)

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

Posted by manzar_w on (April 18, 2013, 0:31 GMT)

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

Posted by Wefinishthis on (April 17, 2013, 23:22 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.

Posted by Chris_P on (April 17, 2013, 22:43 GMT)

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

Posted by aditya.pidaparthy on (April 17, 2013, 21:39 GMT)

@Karthik Muthuveeran,

The primary reason Aamer was given a lighter sentence than the other two was he pled guilty without a trial. Also there is the small matter of him being considered a Juvenile at the time of the crime, which is why he spent time in a Juvenile detention facility as opposed to a regular prison.

While there is a school of thought which says that all equal crimes should be given equal sentences, courts always consider context. For example, a murder is different from manslaughter which is different from self-defense. Context is always taken into account. Which was the primary reason why Aamer had a lighter sentence. In the context of his age, lower position within the team heirarchy and the fact that he accepted his guilt without wasting time on a trial led to a lighter sentence.

Posted by   on (April 17, 2013, 20:19 GMT)

@Karthik Muthuveeran Because Aamir was a kid, yet plead guilty, and there was sufficient proof that he was trapped by Butt.

Posted by Zee_1203 on (April 17, 2013, 19:12 GMT)

I think they should allow to play domestic cricket, since this is there bread and butter.

Posted by   on (April 17, 2013, 19:07 GMT)

These kind people are setting down the image of PAKISTAN....... I want to assure every outsider that PAKISTAN is very different from the image you have in their thoughts..... These kind of people should be banned for all time.... Although their big mistake set PAKISTAN very much on the back foot... The case of Aamir is I think different from both of them. So, should be given some relaxation.....

Posted by Y2SJ on (April 17, 2013, 17:28 GMT)

Should have been banned for life

Posted by Stark62 on (April 17, 2013, 17:22 GMT)

Don't care much for Butt and Asif because Jamshed and Junaid have taken their spots.

Although, you can't say the same about Amir because he was something special and only once in a century type bowler.

Posted by PratUSA on (April 17, 2013, 17:22 GMT)

Great, even if expected, outcome. Both the players should now finally realize that sometimes truth just can not be defeated. And more importantly this case will hopefully be a deterrent for future offenders.

Posted by   on (April 17, 2013, 16:20 GMT)

I don't think anyone would want them to represent Pakistan again, good decision.

Posted by Captain_Tuk_Tuk on (April 17, 2013, 15:33 GMT)

Great decision by CAS, this is what I call justice. I never want to see them in Green representing my country.

Posted by Haleos on (April 17, 2013, 15:28 GMT)

Atlast some sense prevailed. BAN those 3 for life. The youngest should not be let free. Set an example for other youngsters that cheating is not permitted in Cricket.

Posted by hamaadqureshi on (April 17, 2013, 15:24 GMT)

Expected verdict, but I'm happy. Instead of accepting and apologizing for their fault, they are arguing. Shameless people .

Posted by   on (April 17, 2013, 15:15 GMT)

What on earth made him hope his appeal would be successful? Good judgement!

Posted by Anubhav-the-Experience on (April 17, 2013, 14:39 GMT)

It must be very painful for Pakistan that two best talents in their respective fields at that time got involved into such back stabbing acts. I hope players & umpires throughout the world learn from this and do not waste time of audience and their own life & career as well.

Posted by rajesh_singhSTM on (April 17, 2013, 14:02 GMT)

Mohd Amir had confessed to the crime and chose not to appeal against ban. It was obvious then and there that all 3 were involved in cheating the game of cricket knowingly and for money. Obviously when Amir did not appeal , it was obvious Butt and Asif would loose the case because if they were framed ,all 3 would have felt equally innocent and appealed together. Amir probably has decided to return after ban and then the sledging will start

Posted by   on (April 17, 2013, 13:57 GMT)

thats a justice i like it. we want life time ban on them.

Posted by Kashif.Anwar on (April 17, 2013, 13:42 GMT)

Though their ban term in ending in 2015, I would never like to see anyone of them playing for Pakistan or at the domestic level. Even Mohammad Amir, who has cricket left in him and might have learned a lesson, but they put their country's reputation on sale. What kind of a country's representatives are these guys, let alone being the ambassadors of cricket as a sport. They are a disgrace for cricket and most of all a disgrace of the Pakistani nation.

Posted by   on (April 17, 2013, 13:17 GMT)

Good decision....................Both should have been banned for life

Posted by JamilAliAhmed on (April 17, 2013, 13:15 GMT)

Very good decision, this is an example for all the other players.

Posted by   on (April 17, 2013, 13:01 GMT)

They should be punished in Pakistan too. minumum 5 years!! actually they deserve much more then that for cheating the nation!!!

Posted by   on (April 17, 2013, 12:58 GMT)

being as a fan and a cricketer the rules should be same for all country players not only in Pakistani

Posted by applethief on (April 17, 2013, 12:45 GMT)

Dragging this out further has done a greater disservice to the Pakistan cricket team and its supporters, they ought to have followed Amir's example to help things get better, rather than prolonging them for selfish reasons

Posted by MurtaMac on (April 17, 2013, 12:40 GMT)

@Karthik - Aamer plead guilty and chose not to appeal to the initial charges. Plus his case was based on Salman Butt 'coercing' him to bowl those no balls. I'm not sure but his age at the time (he was under 18) also lead to him being given a slightly 'lesser' punishment than others.

Posted by Kentishchap on (April 17, 2013, 12:35 GMT)

Mohammad Amir was given a lesser sentence as it was determined by the court that Butt had used his position as captain to influence him to bowl the no balls. He was too young and naive to no better.

Basically, good riddance to them. If they cannot play cricket without cheating for cash then they should not be granted the privilege for a very long time.

Posted by Anwar-Lara on (April 17, 2013, 12:34 GMT)

Good decision we don't need them... Even Aamir should never ever play again ...

Posted by SirViv1973 on (April 17, 2013, 12:24 GMT)

I think both men should have just excepted their punishments. Butt had 5 yrs of his sentence suspended & Asif 2, so it can be argued their sentences in sporting terms at least were on the leanient side. Butt was Captain of his country and acted with blatant disregard for his position & Asif had already had some serious discretions marked against his name even before this incident. As things stand both will still be young enough to play the game again once their sentencies have been completed, although I doubt very much either will play for their country again.

Posted by   on (April 17, 2013, 12:21 GMT)

Asif and AAmir are great loses to PAkistan and Cricket. But i am very happy with the action taken against them to set examples. For me Asif and Aamir were one of the best pair Test attack any team would produce. Like Styne and Phillender are. But...

Posted by   on (April 17, 2013, 11:57 GMT)

Good Decision.. They should be banned as per ICC rules...

Posted by   on (April 17, 2013, 11:54 GMT)

As an outsider, I was thinking, why Aamer was charged less? Even he was found guilty.

Posted by sharanrp on (April 17, 2013, 11:47 GMT)

Shocked to see a change of heart in a couple of comments here. Goes to show why this sort of disgusting incident is common in pakistan.

Posted by Guthers007 on (April 17, 2013, 11:37 GMT)

Did he really think his appeal would be successful???

Posted by malikharyani on (April 17, 2013, 11:35 GMT)

I hope they will be banned as per last verdict. I don't think so they deserve to play and dishonored Pakistan cricket.

Posted by Naseer_shah on (April 17, 2013, 11:33 GMT)

Good decision !!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by ak_dragon on (April 17, 2013, 11:32 GMT)

As a pakistani we don't want your(Butt n Asif) services..Thanks

Posted by ramonster on (April 17, 2013, 11:22 GMT)

Should be about justice and punishment. Both have received adequate punishment and justice has been served. Let them play!

Posted by shillingsworth on (April 17, 2013, 11:14 GMT)

@Faisal Rabbani - Justice has already prevailed - they were found guilty of a serious criminal offence and jailed.

Posted by   on (April 17, 2013, 10:52 GMT)

Let the justice prevail, hopefully it will come out good for both asif and butt

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