Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Date set for Pakistan trio appeal

Mohammad Amir, Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif
Amir, Butt and Asif's case will be heard in Qatar at the end of October

The appeals by the three Pakistan cricketers against their suspension over spot-fixing allegations will be heard in Doha on 30 and 31 October.

Until then, Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif remain provisionally suspended from all cricket by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Michael Beloff QC, the head of the ICC's Code of Conduct Commission, will hear the appeal in the Qatari capital.

The charges followed allegations made in the News of the World newspaper.

Subsequent investigations were carried out by the ICC's anti-corruption and security unit following the Lord's Test against England in August.

It was alleged that Amir and Asif had deliberately sent down no-balls at pre-arranged times, with Test skipper Butt also said to be involved, in order to receive £150,000 from a bookmaker's "middle man".

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said: "After receiving three separate appeals from the respective players, the ICC moved as quickly as possible to convene an independent hearing in accordance with the ICC's anti-corruption code.

"It is important to understand that the appeals are against the provisional suspension only and will not consider the substantive charges that were laid against the players on 2 September 2010.

"In the meantime, the players remain provisionally suspended from all cricket and related activities.

"We want to ensure a fair and just process in terms of our code, but we are also determined to maintain the integrity of our great sport."

Meanwhile, the separate criminal inquiry into the actions of the three players remains open.

The Metropolitan Police said on 17 September that they had provided an "initial file of evidence relating to conspiracy to defraud bookmakers to the Crown Prosecution Service".

But the CPS cannot proceed with charges until the police investigation is complete, and there is uncertainty over which charges may be applicable given there may be no "victim" in law.

No legal bookmaker in Britain takes bets on the specific timing of no-balls, so no bookmaker can have been defrauded.

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