Spot-fixing tribunal date set

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The Independent Online

The three Pakistan players facing spot-fixing charges will have their hearings in front of an International Cricket Council Anti-Corruption Tribunal in January.

Seamers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir and previous Test captain Salman Butt are currently suspended by the ICC due to charges relating to the fourth Test against England in the summer.

Asif waived his right to challenge the sanction, while Amir and Butt lost appeals of their own at the end of last month.

Michael Beloff QC, the man who chaired the Code of Conduct Commission that rejected those appeals, will also chair the full hearing against the trio which is scheduled for January 6-11 in Doha.

Joining Beloff on the tribunal will be fellow code of conduct commissioners Justice Albie Sachs of South Africa and Kenya's Sharad Rao.

Announcing the details of the hearing, the ICC statement read: "The ICC can confirm that, during a telephone hearing earlier today, the Chair of the ICC's Code of Conduct Commission, Mr Michael Beloff QC, formally appointed an independent Anti-Corruption Tribunal to determine the alleged breaches of the ICC's Anti-Corruption Code by three Pakistan players - Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif.

"During the telephone hearing it was also agreed that the full hearing would be scheduled to take place from 6-11 January 2011 in Doha, Qatar."

It is now two months since the spectre of corruption revisited Pakistan cricket, with explosive News of the World reports claiming that Amir and Asif bowled no-balls to order during the fourth Test at Lord's, with Butt alleged to be orchestrating events as skipper.

A Scotland Yard investigation followed and all three players had their mobile phones confiscated by police investigators.

Pakistan High Commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hasan announced following a meeting with the trio on September 2 that they proclaimed their innocence, but following the Pakistan Cricket Board's refusal to impart their own sanctions the ICC swiftly moved to impose their own provisional suspension.

Pakistan cricket has been unable to move on despite the absence of the accused players, with more allegations of match-fixing breaking during the subsequent one-day series against England, though this time the ICC found there was no case to answer.

Since then wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider has made headlines all over the world for his decision to flee Pakistan's one-day series against South Africa in Dubai claiming he had received death threats from parties interested in securing his services as a fixer.

Haider is currently in England, where he is claiming asylum.