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. Faheem says:

    Good decision. Also, at this point with the team being slowly rebuilt, their return would have actually been BAD for the Pakistan team.

  2. More comments from the ATP Facebook Page:

    – “they deserve it. I as a normal person cannot get away with even a small fine, then these people shouldn’t either. They STOLE, yes STOLE, millions.”
    – “I think it should be a msg for rest of the players. I agree with pardesi that they should have got life ban. I feel pity on Amer who had a whole life in front of him. Jaisay boa gai waisay bharo gai.”
    – “Good ridance. All them cheaters deserve this kind of punishment. Let them be an example for the other players. A harsh reminder for the rest of the team. Naam badnaam kar kay rakh diya hai.”
    – “But this is not good as all other countries players also involve so why these are BAN Why we can not fight with our players against others .?”
    – “These are not our players because they have betrayed us and our nation.”
    – “They deserved it. Pricks black sheeps! Nobody thinks about Pakistan”
    – “I wonder how they would’ve handled the Australian players?hmmmm……”
    – “It is sad, but a good thing if they and the rest of us learn a lesson. I don’t get the sense, though, given the latest video shots with their smiling faces… What I find amusing, though, is the statement that they have been asked to get “anti-corruption training under the auspices” of the PCB!!”
    – “nti corruption training professor, I hope PCB hire Mr. 10 percent aka president Zardari”
    – “why mr.10 % ?? he is on duty to TEACH the political class… for Cricketers we have much better choices …Waseem Akram & family can do the job at their best!they got SCHOLARSHIPS from INDIA also !”
    – “What goddam INIDA has to do with this domestic controversy you as a Pakistani solved the corruption that’s running in your DNA & in your vein.”

  3. Deeda-e-Beena says:

    A LOT MORE CAN BE SAID.
    SUFFICE IT TO SAY HERE:
    “THEY KILLED THE GOOSE THAT LAID THE GOLDEN EGGS”
    NOW THEY HAVE NEITHER THE GOOSE NOR THE GOLDEN EGGS.

    THE YEARS OF NO INTERNATIONAL CRICKET WOULD TURN THEM into NON- CRICKETERS.

    HOPEFULLY, A GREAT LESSON FOR GENERATIONS OF NEW PAKISTANI CRICKETERS !

  4. Najma Siddiqi says:

    The real joke is the statement that they should get anti-corruption training under the auspices of the PCB!

  5. Copper says:

    It’s too lenient for Asif and Salman, but a bit too much for Amir. Nevertheless, they deserve what they got! Specially Asif who has time and again been a disgrace to nation.

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