Butt not to withdraw challenge against ICC suspension

Karachi: Pakistan’s tainted captain Salman Butt said that he had no intention of withdrawing his appeal against the ICC’s provisional suspension even after withdrawal of challenge by his teammate Muhammad Asif.

“I don’t know why Asif withdrew his appeal but I am not going to do this. I am innocent and want to prove myself clear of these spot-fixing allegations,” Butt told a news channel.

Butt, Asif and pace bowler Muhammad Amir were suspended by the ICC on September 2 while touring England with Pakistan team for their alleged role in spot-fixing during the fourth Test against England at the Lord’s in late August.

All three challenged the suspensions and these were due to be heard by an independent tribunal of the ICC in Doha, Qatar on October 30 and 31.

But after Asif’s withdrawal of his challenge yesterday, which he says is temporary, the ICC has said the hearing might be shifted to Dubai on same dates.

Butt said that the suspension imposed on him had cost him a big slice of his cricket career.

“I don’t agree with the suspension because when they remove it what happens to the days I lost as an international cricketer and captain,” Butt said.

“I am innocent and I know I have done nothing wrong. I am confident because the onus is now on those, who accused us of wrongdoing, to prove their allegations,” he added.

The opening batsman said he was preparing in detail for the hearing later this month with his lawyers and would contest the suspension strongly.

“After this suspension issue I am also going to challenge these allegations of spot-fixing,” he said.

Lawyer for Muhammad Amir also said that the player would not be withdrawing his appeal despite the decision taken by Asif.

“Our challenge is on and we are preparing for the hearings,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board sources confirmed that the ICC had agreed to bear the expenses for the travel and stay of the two players for their hearing in Dubai on a request sent to them by the respective lawyers.

“The players have taken the plea that since the PCB is not supporting them at all and their fees have also been held up and contracts suspended, it is difficult for them to bear the legal and travelling costs to Dubai,” one source said.

The PCB has said it would not be helping the players at all and they would contest the case themselves.

The Board earlier stopped Butt from practicing at the National Cricket Academy.

Butt said he was disappointed with the situation but knew he himself had to fight to get his name cleared.

“I am confident of doing that,” he said.


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