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Monday, January 17, 2011


Ehsan Mani, the former president of the International Cricket Council believes that Pakistan’s spot-fixing tainted players would be awarded tough and harsh punishments by the ICC tribunal.
Three Pakistani players- namely, Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif- pleaded their innocence in front of the ICC tribunal in a hearing that took place in Doha, Qatar, from the 6th to 11th of this month. After the hearing, the tribunal, headed by Michael Beloff QC, chose to delay the verdict till the 5th of February.
Mani, who hails from Pakistan, was satisfied by the overall performance of the anti-corruption tribunal and anticipated that a delay in the verdict was a right decision by the ICC. According to him, a delay showed that the ICC had enough evidence against the players and a harsh verdict was in the coming.
Talking to the media he said, "It’s good that the tribunal is taking its time in reaching a verdict and wants to study all the available material,". The former ICC president went on to say, "My gut feeling is that all three will be harshly punished. However, I will be very disappointed for Mohammad Amir, who is the best young talent around."
Mani termed the spot-fixing hearing as a milestone in cricket’s history. He said, "This case’s outcome will have a big impact on the future of international cricket and I don’t think there should be any hurry in giving a decision."
Last year in August, Pakistan was faced with quite a dilemma when three of the cricket team's main players, Butt, Amir and Asif, were accused by a British tabloid, "News of the World" of being involved in spot-fixing. The two bowlers, Asif and Amir, were alleged to have bowled deliberate no-balls after taking bribes from a bookmaker with the name of Mazhar Majeed. It was also revealed that the said bookie had a close relationship with the team captain, Salman Butt, which was later confirmed by Butt. However, Butt denied committing any wrong doing, and asserted that Majeed’s job was only to get lucrative advertisement contracts for the player.
After the accusations were made public, the ICC suspended the players from taking part in all formats of cricket, and formulated a three member anti-corruption tribunal to adjudge a hearing of the whole debacle. Justice Albie Sachs from South Africa and Sharad Rao from Kenya were two of the members of the tribunal.
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