Karachi: Pakistan's banned cricketers Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif could face problems convincing the ICC to put aside their suspension periods when they complete their five-year ban term in August 2015. Reliable sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have told PTI that while the board was preparing to make a request to the ICC once again to allow the third banned player, Mohammad Aamir, to start training and playing some club or domestic cricket before his ban ends in August 2015, they were also concerned about Butt and Asif's situation.
The three Pakistani cricketers were given five-year bans in February, 2011 by the anti-corruption tribunal of the ICC for involvement in the spot-fixing scandal during Pakistan's tour to England in 2010, leading to immediate suspensions of the trio by the ICC in September that year after the Lords Test.
But while Aamir owing to his young age (he is 22 now) was given only a five-year ban, Asif has also been given a two-year suspended ban sentence and Butt three years of suspended ban. The suspended ban can be invoked or put aside only by the anti-corruption tribunal of the ICC when Asif and Butt complete their mandatory five-year bans in August 2105.
"The scenario will be different for Butt and Asif when their bans end and that is why the PCB, at the moment, is only focusing on supporting Aamir as he was the only one among the three to admit his guilt and submit himself to the anti-corruption rehabilitation process of the ICC," the source said. "Aamir, in fact, had also undergone several counselling sessions organised by PCB, which were supervised by a renowned psychologist and sports counsellor," he said.
He said the ICC had also involved Aamir in its anti-corruption program and had released a video with him giving a message to other players to desist from corruption. "In Butt and Asif's case they admitted their involvement in the spot-fixing scandal after making appeals against their bans. You can say they exhausted the opportunities available to them to appeal."
"It took a while for them to accept their guilt and so far they have not been through a rehab anti-corruption program although Butt has repeatedly said he is available and will do as the PCB and ICC tell him to do to redeem himself," the source added.
He said as per the existing clauses the two Pakistani cricketers, after their bans end, will have to file applications with the ICC to set aside their suspended ban periods.