Asif, Butt ponder response after verdict

Mohammad Asif leaves Kilburn police station after being questioned AFP

In his first statement after the spot-fixing verdict was announced on Saturday, Mohammmad Asif has said that he is contemplating a response after being banned for seven years by the ICC three-man tribunal. "Mohammad Asif has co-operated fully with the ICC investigation, and is very disappointed and upset by the decision it reached," said a statement issued by his London-based lawyers, Addleshaw Goddard.

"Together with his legal representatives, he is now considering his response, and will not be commenting further due to the ongoing criminal proceedings."

The tribunal had also banned Salman Butt for ten years and Mohammad Amir for five years after a hearing in Doha on charges of being involved in the bowling of deliberate no-balls during the fourth Test against England last year. While Amir has said that he will file an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the tribunal's decision, Butt will be taking the advice of his barrister Yasin Patel to decide whether he will appeal or not. That decision will be made in the next few days. The players have 21 days to appeal against the ICC sanctions at the CAS based in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The situation is likely to further develop after the trio receive the full written judgments tomorrow, giving the reasoning behind the verdict - and also the evidence, put together by the ICC's legal team, that it was based on.

Separately, the three players have also been charged by the UK Crown Prosecution Service with conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments, and conspiracy to cheat, and have been summoned to appear in a London court on March 17.