ICC Charges, Suspends Pakistan Trio
By Admin - Fri Sep 03, 11:24 am
LONDON: Cricket’s world governing body charged three Pakistan stars accused in a betting scam with anti-corruption offences and provisionally suspended them Thursday, as the trio protested their innocence.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) said Test captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif were barred from taking part in all cricket matches with immediate effect, although they can appeal the suspension.
Earlier, Pakistan’s ambassador to Britain said after meeting the trio that they had asked to miss the rest of the team’s tour of England because of the scandal, but said he believed their insistence that they were innocent.
The ICC said it had charged the three stars with offences under its anti-corruption code and they had been provisionally suspended pending a decision on those charges.
“We will not tolerate corruption in cricket – simple as that,” said ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat.
“We must be decisive with such matters and if proven, these offences carry serious penalties up to a life ban.
“The ICC will do everything possible to keep such conduct out of the game and we will stop at nothing to protect the sport’s integrity. While we believe the problem is not widespread, we must always be vigilant.
“It is important, however, that we do not pre-judge the guilt of these three players. That is for the independent tribunal alone to decide.”
Earlier, Butt, Aamer and Asif met with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt and Pakistan’s ambassador to Britain, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, at the diplomat’s London office.
Speaking afterwards, Hasan said: “The three players have said that they are extremely disturbed by what has happened in the past week, especially in regard of their alleged involvement in the crime.
“They mentioned that they are entirely innocent in the whole episode and shall defend their innocence as such.