ICC defers verdict on spot-fixing till Feb 5
Doha: Tainted Pakistani cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif will have to wait for some more days to learn their fate after ICC`s anti-corruption tribunal today reached no decision and called for another hearing on the spot-fixing row on February 5 here.
The tribunal was expected to come out with its verdict today after it`s three-man independent tribunal led by the code of conduct commissioner Michael Beloff of England, and aided by Justice Albie Sachs from South Africa and Kenyan Sharad Rao heard all the parties behind closed doors at the Qatar Financial Centre since January 6.
However, after the day`s proceedings the tribunal said it could not come to any conclusion today and a verdict will be delivered only on February 5 after further hearing, until that time the players remained suspended from all forms of cricket.
"The tribunal have throughout been very conscious of the importance of these proceedings to the three players and the wider world of cricket," said Beloff, commissioner of the three-man independent hearing.
"Representations have been made to it to reserve any decision on the charges still before it until it has had sufficient time to give the issues careful consideration and
until it is able, at the same time as handing down its decision, to provide written reasons.”
"This would not be feasible in the timeframe agreed for this hearing in Doha. The tribunal has, therefore, determined to continue its deliberations and hold a further hearing in Doha on the fifth of February of this year, at which its decisions will be handed down to the parties and any consequential matters will be dealt with," he said.
"Until that date, all three players will remain suspended from all cricketing activities," Beloff added.
The tainted trio were charged of spot-fixing during Pakistan`s tour of England last year. It is alleged that players conspired in bowling deliberate no-balls during a Test
at Lord`s, a claim which they all deny.
The three were provisionally suspended by the ICC in September last year, with the players facing a minimum five-year ban and a maximum life ban if found guilty.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day Aamer`s counsel Shahid Karim had requested the tribunal not to rush with it`s decision and asked the panel to take some more time to study the case before announcing it`s verdict.
"We have requested the judges to look at the case carefully and with due consideration before they announce the verdict," Karim told a TV channel.
"This is up to them, and if they have looked at it with thought and consideration, then after we finish they`ll tell us if the verdict is announced today or at a later date.”
"I am satisfied that the hearing has been very good and impartial, and I can say from our point of view at least we are hopeful. The onus is now on the judges," he said.
Ahead of today`s hearing, Aamer said the episode has been one of the most difficult phases of his life but was confident of coming out clean.
"When the nation`s prayers are with you, you don`t feel so scared and there is hope. It`s been difficult to sleep over the last few nights but my eyes are open now and when good news comes I will hopefully be able to close them properly,"
he told reporters.
"We are satisfied with how things have gone, and my family`s prayers are also with me. I`m feeling good and am hoping for some good news," he added.