ICC insists Pakistani cricketers have a case to answer (Round Up)September 3rd, 2010 - 10:56 pm ICT by IANS
London, Sep 3 (IANS) The International Cricket Council (ICC) Friday said that Pakistani players Salman Butt, Mohammed Asif and Mohammed Aamer have a case to answer and defended its decision to suspend the trio for alleged spot-fixing, insisting that there is no conspiracy against Pakistani cricket.
Pakistan’s High Commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hasan attacked the ICC for suspending the trio, even as Scotland Yard questioned the three cricketers in the spot-fixing scandal.
Hasan accused the ICC of “playing to the public gallery”, and said the council had “no business” taking action while the investigations were on.
ICC chief executive officer Haroon Lorgat rejected the charge at a press conference at Lord’s.
“This particular incident with the three players is unrelated to the challenge that we’ve got in keeping Pakistan involved as a full member of the International Cricket Council. So I wouldn’t want to link the two, and I certainly wouldn’t subscribe to the view that there is some sort of conspiracy around Pakistan cricket,” he said.
Lorgat also refuted charges made by Hasan, who said that the ICC had assured the Pakistan High Commission that the trio would not be charged while the police investigation was underway.
Hasan’s attack come after Test captain Butt and bowlers Asif and Aamer were charged by the ICC late Thursday night with multiple breaches of the ICC’s anti-corruption rules and were suspended from all forms of the game with immediate effect.
“They (the ICC) have done the wrong thing. When there’s a live police inquiry, this takes precedence over both the ICC, civil or regulatory investigations and any disciplinary investigations,” Hasan was quoted as saying by Radio 4’s Today programme.
“To take action now is unhelpful, premature and unnecessary considering the players had already voluntarily withdrawn from playing. The ICC had no business to take this action. The ICC is just playing to the public gallery.”
Ronnie Flanagan, chairman of the ICC’s anti-corruption and security unit (ACSU), meanwhile, said that the players had been suspended because they had “a really arguable case to answer”.
“They have a really arguable case to answer in our disciplinary arena but that is not the same as coming, in any sense, to a finding of guilt on their behalf,” added Flanagan. “Priority must be given to the criminal investigation.”
Flanagan said that the three players could face life bans if found guilty under Article 2 of the code.
“At the worst end of the scale, if guilt is found then the punishment can range right up to a life ban from the game. I am certain that this will not take weeks,” said Flanagan, Northern Ireland’s former chief constable.
But Flanagan said that this case doesn’t suggest that cricket is rife with corruption.
“I do not see this as the tip of an iceberg but I think it is something from which we must learn,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Hasan said that he had spoken to the three cricketers and had concluded that they were innocent.
The three cricketers also became the first players to be suspended under new ICC rules intended to protect the integrity of the game.
They could face even stiffer action as the result of the ongoing criminal inquiry, which will accelerate when the trio will be interviewed under caution by detectives from Scotland Yard.
On Thursday they protested their innocence for the first time since the scandal broke, but are currently being viewed as suspects in the alleged conspiracy. They are not expected to be arrested however, and have agreed to voluntarily attend the interviews with Scotland Yard investigators.
It was also reported that marked bank notes were allegedly discovered in police searches of Butt’s hotel room and his locker at Lord’s.
The ICC initially said it would not act until the police had interviewed the three players. But the decision to charge and suspend the players came after ACSU chief operating office Ravi Sawani held talks with officers from the Metropolitan Police Economic Crime Unit.
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- Spot fixing: Pak envoy slams ICC for suspending players facing police probe - Sep 03, 2010
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- ICC acknowledges receiving Salman Butt's appeal against suspension - Sep 30, 2010
- 'Livid' PCB boss Butt accuses ECB of being 'biased' against Pak in spot-fixing scam - Sep 21, 2010
- Spot-fixing: PCB boss Butt to meet ICC chief Pawar today - Sep 16, 2010
- Spot-fixing allegations continue to rock cricket (Roundup) - Sep 18, 2010
- Bookie accuses Akmal brothers, others, of spot-fixing - Dec 01, 2010
- Fourth Pakistani,a Sri Lankan cricketer now under scanner (Roundup) - Sep 05, 2010
- Spot-fixing verdict should be a deterrent for players: ICC - Feb 06, 2011
- Three Pakistani cricketers return home - Sep 11, 2010
- Pakistani players return to court for sentencing - Nov 02, 2011
- Pakistani cricketers face London trial for spot-fixing - Oct 03, 2011
- Controlling spot-fixing "almost impossible" for PCB, ICC: Ijaz Butt - Dec 31, 2010
- Tainted Pakistan cricket trio respond to ICC notices - Sep 14, 2010
Tags: bowlers, breaches, chief executive officer, cricket pakistan, disciplinary investigations, hasan, high commissioner, international cricket council, live police, mohammed asif, pakistan cricket, pakistan high commission, pakistani cricket, police inquiry, police investigation, precedence, radio 4, regulatory investigations, scotland yard, thursday night