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Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Pakistan’s Mohammad Asif off to London to face criminal charges

Pakistan’s banned pacer Mohammad Asif, left for England to attend a criminal charges hearing at the South Crown Court in London yesterday, while Salman Butt has been advised by his lawyer Yasin Patel to stay back as the lawyer will attend the hearing.
Mohammad Amir however, is still waiting for a visa which he believes he will get within a few days. The hearing is set to take place on the May 20, 2011.
The trio has been banned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after a hearing organized by the world body found the three players guilty of taking bribes from a bookie to deliberately bowl no-balls in the Lord’s Test against England in the summer of 2010.
Butt has been banned for 10 years, Asif for seven and Amir for five. During this time the players cannot take part in any cricket event organized by the ICC or its member cricket boards. However, the players can take part in cricket activities such as working for television channels as commentators or cricket experts.
The players will face the trial along bookie Mazhar Majeed, who has been accused of bribing the players. If convicted all four could serve time in an English jail for up to seven years or might be slapped with unlimited fines.
Meanwhile, Asif has once again reiterated that he is innocent and has vowed to prove this in the court of law. The lanky bowler also said that he had challenged his seven year ban from cricket in the Court of Arbitration for Sports.
Even after being convicted by the ICC, the three players still maintain their innocence and deny any wrong doings. The players have vowed to resume their cricket career after getting their names cleared, however, that seems unlikely due to the fact that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has not lend them any support and there is not much hope for the ICC to reconsider their verdict against the players.
Earlier, the Crown Prosecution Service allowed the players to leave the country on one condition that they will attend further hearings in the trial, failing to do so will cause severe repercussions.
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