Salman, Asif and Amir Banned by ICC for 5+ Years Each: Too Harsh? Just Right? Or Too Lenient?

Posted on February 5, 2011
Filed Under >Adil Najam, ATP Poll, Law & Justice, Sports
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Adil Najam

In a much awaited verdict from the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) corruption tribunal Pakistani crickets Salman Butt, Mohammed Asif and Mohammed Amir have been handed suspensions (bans) from cricket for 10 years, 7 years and 5 years respectively. However, Salman’s and Asif’s sentences have 5 and 2 years each of ‘suspended’ sentences which means that effectively they could also be back in 5 years, depending on what happens between now and then.

What do you think about this: Is the punishment too harsh? Too lenient? Or just right?

And what would you have done if you were in the tribunal? If the punishment would have been harsher or more lenient, what message would have been sent out? What message, do you think, has been sent out now?

The players are allowed to appeal the decision in the courts of Switzerland. Do you think they should appeal the decision? What would you advise them to do?

Interestingly – and importantly, in my view – the suspension sentences also come with a requirement that the players complete “anti-corruption” training and education supervised by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) – wouldn’t that be a good thing for all of us!

Details on the news, as reported in CricInfo are as follows:

The ICC tribunal has announced a sanction of ten years’ ineligibility for Salman Butt (with five years of a suspended sentence); seven years for Mohammad Asif (with two years suspended) and five years’ ineligibility for Mohammad Amir. The sanctions follow investigations of their role in spot-fixing, along with Mazhar Majeed, a players’ agent, during Pakistan’s tour of England in 2010.

The announcement on Saturday evening followed a day of deliberations in Doha between the three-man tribunal – comprising Michael Beloff QC, Sharad Rao and Justice Albie Sachs – and the players and their legal teams. The sentences are open to appeal by both sides – players and ICC – in the Court of Arbitration in Sport in Switzerland.

Butt, who was captain during the series in England, received the maximum sentence but one charge against him – of batting out a maiden over during the Oval Test – was dismissed. However, he was found to have not disclosed an approach by Majeed that he should bat a maiden over. The other charges that were upheld relate to the subsequent Lord’s Test, where Amir and Asif were found to have bowled deliberate no-balls and Butt was party to that.

The tribunal released a statement after announcing the decision. The full text is reproduced below:

‘The independent Anti-Corruption Tribunal which has been hearing the cases of Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif under the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Code for Players and Player Support Personnel had adjourned on Tuesday 11th January 2011 after a six day hearing.

‘The Tribunal reconvened today for further submissions and thereafter announced the following decisions.

‘The Tribunal found that the charge under Article 2.1.1 of the Code that Mr Butt agreed to bat out a maiden over in the Oval Test match played between Pakistan and England from 18 to 21 August 2010 was dismissed, whereas the charge under Article 2.4.2 that Mr Butt failed to disclose to the ICC’s ACSU the approach by Mr Majeed that Mr Butt should bat a maiden over in the Oval Test was proved.

‘The Tribunal found that the charges under Article 2.1.1 of the Code that (respectively) Mr Asif agreed to bowl and did bowl a deliberate no ball in the Lord’s Test match played between Pakistan and England from 26 to 29 August 2010, Mr Amir agreed to bowl and did bowl two deliberate no balls in the same Test, and Mr Butt was party to the bowling of those deliberate no balls, were proved.

‘We impose the following sanctions:

‘On Mr Butt a sanction of ten years ineligibility, five years of which are suspended on condition that he commits no further breach of the code and that he participates under the auspices of the Pakistan Cricket Board in a programme of Anti-Corruption education.

‘On Mr Asif a sanction of seven years ineligibility two years of which are suspended on condition that he commits no further breach of the code and that he participates under the auspices of the Pakistan Cricket Board in a programme of Anti-Corruption education.

‘On Mr Amir sanction of five years of ineligibility.

‘No further sanctions are imposed on any player and no orders are made as to costs.

‘The Tribunal has recommended to the ICC certain changes to the Code with a view to providing flexibility in relation to minimum sentences in exceptional circumstances.

‘The Tribunal note that it is for the ICC, whether and if so when, the fully reasoned decision in respect of the breaches of the Code and of the sanctions imposed in consequence should be published.

‘It is our strong and unanimous view that it is in the interests of all concerned in the world of cricket that publication should take place as soon as possible.’

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28 responses to “Salman, Asif and Amir Banned by ICC for 5+ Years Each: Too Harsh? Just Right? Or Too Lenient?”

  1. Indian says:

    Pakistan has produced some of the best cricketers! I am particularly a big fan of fast bowlers from Pakistan!

    I think very soon Pakistan team will rise up in the rankings. Just yesterday I read in Times of India (I think in Varsha Bhogle’s article) that they are quite capable of reaching semi finals in the world cup!

  2. ali b says:

    these cricketers had been inspired by the rampant corruption that is prevailing in the country where who ever gets a chance tries to become rich specially the politicians and CEO’S of different organizations,they did not want to lag behind, perhaps they were also inspired by the past activities of Wasim Akram who was leniently let go by justice Qayyum.They deserve the sentence handed to them, their agent Shazad should also be handed a stiff sentence including imprisonment.

  3. Nihari says:

    Being a slave does not mean that you are governed by a foreign power. It is a state of mind. It means you are so incapable to running your stuff that somebody from outside has to move in to straighten your home. We all knew that match and spot fixing was rampant in Pakistan Cricket. In fact ICC was giving warnings during the world cup and other tours. Yet we are so incapable that we it blew off, they have to move in and punish the players. Our board doesnt know what to do.

    Isnt the story of Pakistan in every walk of life.

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