Waiting game goes on for Pakistan trio
An anti-corruption tribunal against Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt,
Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer ended Tuesday with no decision and a
further hearing scheduled for February 5.
The three face charges of spot-fixing during Pakistan’s tour of
England last year in a scandal that rocked the sport. It is alleged that
they conspired in the bowling of deliberate no-balls in the Lord’s Test
claims they all deny.
They were provisionally suspended by the ICC in September, with the
world governing body’s code of conduct carrying a minimum five-year ban
and maximun life out of the game if corruption charges are proved.
The hearing began last Thursday but Michael Beloff, commissioner of
the three-man independent tribunal, said they needed more time to
consider the issues.
“The tribunal have throughout been very conscious of the importance
of these proceedings to the three players and the wider world of
cricket,” he said in a statement read to media waiting at the Qatar
Financial Centre venue.
“Representations have been made to it to reserve any decision on the
charges still before it until it has had sufficient time to give the
issues careful consideration and until it is able, at the same time as
handing down its decision, to provide written reasons. “This would not
be feasible in the timeframe agreed for this hearing in Doha.
“The tribunal has therefore determined to continue its deliberations
and hold a further hearing in Doha on the fifth of February of this
year, at which its decisions will be handed down to the parties and any
consequential matters will be dealt with.
“Until that date, all three players will remain suspended from all
None of the players or their lawyers were immediately available for
comment although fast bowler Aamer told reporters earlier in the day
that it had been one of the hardest times of his life.
“You can see my eyes are sore because I have not been able to sleep
for the last few days,” he said.
“I have been talking to my parents and they have tried to raise my
confidence. I know a lot of people are praying for me because its a
matter of my career.” Former Pakistan players expressed disappointment
that no verdict was reached.
“It’s absurd,” former captain Zaheer Abbas told AFP.
“The International Cricket Council has kept the players hostage for
the last five months and now they have deferred the decision, which is
Another former captain Asif Iqbal was also surprised at the delay.
“The ICC has taken so much time on this case and have spent so much
money on it and yet could not take a decision... it is strange,” said
“I am surprised at the delay.”
The scandal came to light when Britain’s News of the World claimed
that seven Pakistani players, including Butt, Aamer and Asif, took money
from bookie Mazhar Majeed to obey orders at specific stages in the
Lord’s Test in August.
Scotland Yard detectives raided the team hotel in London, reportedly
confiscating a huge amount of money from former Pakistan captain Butt’s
All three men enlisted serious legal heavyweights to state their
cases them with paceman Asif, 28, represented by Allan Cameron, brother
of British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Former Test captain and opening batsman Butt, 26, was represented by
British-based lawyer Yasin Patel, while 18-year-old Aamer’s legal team
was headed by Shahid Karim from Pakistan.
It is seen as the worst scandal in cricket since that of South
Africa’s Hansie Cronje.
A decade ago the former South Africa captain, who died in a
mysterious plane crash in 2002, was revealed to have accepted money from
bookmakers in a bid to influence the course of games as well as trying
to corrupt his team-mates.