We are prepared for the worst: Butt, Aamir

Karachi: Pakistan`s suspended Test captain Salman Butt and pacer Muhammad Aamir are "prepared for the worst" when the ICC`s anti-corruption tribunal announces a decision on the spot-fixing allegations against them and Muhammad Asif on Saturday.

The two players, who left for Doha for the verdict, told the media they knew the "realities" of the case.

With rumours circulating that Butt and Asif are likely to be handed life bans and Aamir a five-year ban by the tribunal that will give a verdict based on a six-day hearing held in Doha in early January, Butt said he was going through the worst period of his life.

"It has been hell for all three of us but at the moment we really don`t have any idea what the verdict is going to be so we remain hopeful," Butt said.

The trio was suspended last September by the ICC on charges of spot-fixing and violating the ICC`s anti-corruption code of conduct clauses.

While Aamir is represented by Pakistani lawyer Shahid Karim, who left with him, Butt is represented by a UK based lawyer of Indian origin Yasin Patel and Asif by Alan Cameron.

Butt said since the six-day hearing in Doha the tribunal had not asked for any further clarifications regarding the evidence and statements made at the hearing.

"I really don`t know what is going to happen but it is a understatement to say these next 24 hours are going to be the most tense for me," the suspended opener said.

The tribunal that is headed by Michael Beloff includes Justices Albie Sachs and Sharad Rao.

Aamir said he was hoping for a positive outcome.

"Let us wait and see but we have the right of appeal against any penalties," he noted.

Shahid Karim said no case was open and shut until the verdict was announced.

"It would be premature to make assumptions and I don`t go by the reports circulating in the media. We have great belief that my client will get a fair verdict," Karim said.

Sources well aware of the case indicated that the reports of a life ban on Butt and Asif might be too harsh and premature.

But former Chairman of the Pakistan cricket Board Tauqir Zia said he saw the writing on the wall for the suspended trio.

"I have said all along there is lot of evidence involved in this case by the ICC and the onus has been on the ICC anti-corruption tribunal to prove these players are guilty of spot-fixing," he said.


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