ICC fixes Oct 30 for hearing tainted trio’s appeals

Lahore:The International Cricket Council (ICC) has turned down the requests of Pakistan`s Test skipper Salman Butt and teenage pacer Mohammad Aamir to set an early date for their hearing in the spot-fixing case, by fixing it for Oct 30 in Qatar.

Their lawyers had requested the ICC to hold an early hearing, so that their clients might make themselves available for selection in the national team for the upcoming series against South Africa, starting in the UAE from Oct 25, the Dawn reported.

However, the ICC set the hearing date for Oct 30, hoping that Scotland Yard, which is investigating the spot-fixing allegations against Salman, Aamir and Mohammad Asif, would also come up with its report by that time, the paper added.

While Salman and Aamir were eager to receive the ICC decision before the selection process of the Pakistan squad for the upcoming series began, Asif did not ask for an early hearing since his selection for the series was not possible, as he is banned from entering the UAE after being caught there with an illegal drug two years ago.

In 2008, on his way back to Pakistan after a stint in the Indian Premier League, Asif was caught at the Dubai International airport for possessing a banned drug. He was detained for 19 days, after which the police deported him, as they found the quantity of the banned drug "insufficient" for pursuing a case against him.

Meanwhile, the national selection committee meeting, which was due on Wednesday to pick the team for the South Africa series, has been delayed for an indefinite period.

Earlier this week, Pakistan`s chief selector Mohsin Khan had acknowledged that it would be "really tough" for the selectors to find replacements of the tainted trio- Butt, Asif and Amir- if they were ruled out of the assignment for the upcoming series against South Africa.

"They are three of our key players and will be in the squad if cleared to play in the forthcoming series," he said, adding, "It will be really tough for us to find their replacement in case they are not available to play against South Africa."

The trio had appealed against the ICC`s decision of provisionally suspending them under its anti-corruption code, following allegations that they were involved with bookies in a fixing scam during Pakistan`s tour of England this year.