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.’

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

  1. Haris says:

    I feel sorry for them they were unaware of there own silly actions. The supposed ‘fixer’ Mazhar Majeed stated in previous video footage he targeted these players while they were young and most definitely naive. While Salman should have known better, coming from a educated and well to do background Asif and Amir are on the other side of the spectrum and probably saw the money as nothing more then harmless for bowling a few no balls. However what they did was wrong and they should be duly punished for their actions, but one can’t help but feel pity for them.

  2. Naan Haleem says:

    The two main culprits got away with it. The so-called agent, Mazhar Majeed and PCB administration!!!

    Well… PCB devised and submitted a strict code for current and prospective agents for cricketers and that does address the issue to some extent. But does this verdict includes recommendations that Mazhar Majeed be banned from assuming the role of agent for any sportsman (not just cricket)? I didnt see him mentioned in any way in the verdict. Perhaps in detailed judgement….

    And the PCB… I wonder if there is any orientation program being conducted in National Cricket Academy (NCA) apart from physical fitness, coaching and training. In my opinion, PCB is to be blamed as well for NOT TEACHING the rules of the game to new players.

    I know its a routine practice in public sector institutions of Pakistan to ignore the orientation of new employees with the assumption that they will “learn by experience”. Well this philosophy may be applicable (although not at all acceptable) for indigenous institutions, but when you are representing at international fora, every care must be taken to prevent any mistake, let alone a crime.

    PCB and other sporting bodies must develop an educational plan focusing the use of drugs, cultural differences & socialization when abroad, agency issue, marketing & advertisements, and most importantly, laws of the game (plus related penal code of Pakistan and foreign countries).

    Every sportsman wishing to represent Pakistan, must clear a written test covering aforementioned subjects. Moreover, refresher courses must be conducted in non-playing months of every year for constant revision of the topics.

    The same EDUCATIONAL activity can be used for improving self motivation, team dynamics, leadership and communication skills.

  3. sarah says:

    Pakistan has no shortage of talent and particularly in cricket. Each and every player must be fined heavily and banned for life from representing Pakistan.

  4. Ch. Aslam says:

    Where is Ijaz Butt in all of this.
    Can ICC please put a ban on him too!

  5. Nafees says:

    Completely & fully agreed with Alia’a comments.

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