Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif loses appeal over 10-year ban for spot-fixing
Butt was named as the orchestrator of a plot to bowl deliberate no-balls in the Lord's Test against England in 2010
Wednesday 17 April 2013
Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif have lost their appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport over bans handed down for spot-fixing.
The International Cricket Council banned Butt for 10 years, with five suspended, and Asif for seven years, with two suspended, for their role in the spot-fixing scandal that also involved team-mate Mohammad Amir.
The 28-year-old Butt was named as the orchestrator of a plot to bowl deliberate no-balls in the Lord's Test against England in 2010, with Asif and Amir the men who delivered them.
A Court of Arbitration for Sport statement read: "The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeals filed by the Pakistani cricket players Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt against the decisions taken by the International Cricket Council Tribunal on 5 February 2011 in which Mr Asif received seven years ineligibility (two suspended) and Mr Butt ten years (five suspended) following an investigation into spot-fixing in relation to "no balls" bowled during a Test Match played in London in 2010."
According to CAS, former Test captain Butt did not contest his liability in the case but had requested a shortening of the ban.
The 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."
Asif, 30, had request the annulment of the ICC's decision on procedural grounds.
Today's 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 Tribunal's decision.
"For those reasons, the Panel was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Asif was a party to the spot-fixing conspiracy."
Please note language in the final paragraph
Amer Rahman, a legal advisor from Farani Javid Taylor Solicitors who represented Butt, said in a statement: "Both Salman and us are bitterly disappointed with the decision of the Court. Salman has been in a very dark place over the last few years and he was hoping that he would be successful in this appeal.
"We will not be giving up. In the coming days and weeks, we will be exploring every other available avenue."
Solicitor Daniel Rajah, also part of Butt's legal team, added: "Anyone that has met Salman will know of his passion for cricket. It's in his heart and soul. All Salman has ever wanted is to play the sport he loves.
"It is therefore extremely disappointing that the decision has gone against him. Over the coming weeks and months we will do our best to support Salman and we will be doing everything we can for him."
Butt was handed a 30-month jail sentence in November 2011, but was released the following June, with Asif and Amir serving shorter sentences.
Mazhar Majeed, the London-based sports agent at the heart of the fixing scandal, was also jailed.
In 2011, Butt was banned for 10 years by the ICC, with five years suspended; Asif was banned for seven years, with two years suspended; and Amir was banned for five years.
Amir last year announced he would not appeal against his ban to CAS.
The fixing scandal emerged after an undercover News of the World reporter approached Majeed in August 2010 pretending to be a wealthy Indian businessman seeking major international cricketers for a tournament.
The sports agent was secretly filmed accepting £150,000 in cash from the journalist as part of an arrangement to rig games.
Majeed promised the reporter that Asif and Amir would deliver three no-balls at specific points during the Test between Pakistan and England at Lord's from August 26 to 29 2010.
He claimed he had been carrying out fixing for two and a half years and had seven players from Pakistan's national side working for him.
Explaining why he bowled a no-ball when Majeed said he would, Asif alleged that Butt told him: "Run faster, f*****", moments before his delivery.
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