Local Club Regular
- Jan 30, 2011
Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were each named in the News of the World investigation. All three players maintained their innocence of the charges levelled against them, but were suspended pending an investigation by the International Cricket Council, which determined that they "had an arguable case to answer", on 4 September 2010.
Wajid Shamsul Hasan, the Pakistani High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, claimed that the players had been "set up" and were innocent of the charges. He condemned the ICC decision.
Butt subsequently filed an appeal to have his suspension lifted. Asif and Amir and followed suit and the ICC announced that a hearing would be held in Qatar on 30 and 31 October. The interior ministry announced that the passport of the three cricketers had been given back to them so that they can travel to Qatar. Seven days before the appeal began Mohammad Asif announced that he had withdrawn his appeal because he wanted to understand the charges against him. Butt and Amir announced that their appeals were to continue. The ICC moved the hearing to the UAE. Salman Butt announced that he hoped the appeals would be completed quickly so that he could make a swift return to international cricket and participate in the series against South Africa in October 2010. Their initial appeal against the suspension was rejected on 31 October 2010. Butt and Amir hit out at the ICC saying that, although the ruling went against them, they weren't informed of the reasons for the decision.
A tribunal to decide the fates of the players was held in January 2011 The panel comprised Michael Beloff, Albie Sachs and Sharad Rao – all with previous experience in sporting trials. Butt and Amir objected to the selection of Beloff, contending that, as the head of the ICC disciplinary committee, he had a conflict of interest in favour the ICC over the three cricketers. This was shown, they claimed, when he voted against lifting their suspensions. Butt's lawyer, Aftab Gul, withdrew from the case because he doubted his client would receive justice.The ICC also said that because the story was broken by News of the World, its reporters would feature in the case. A decision was deferred to 5 February 2011.
On 5 February 2011, it was announced that the ICC had banned all three players—Butt for ten years, of which five were suspended, Asif for seven years, of which two were suspended, and Amir for five years. The suspension of sentences for Butt and Asif were conditional on each "[committing] no further breach of the code and...[participating] under the auspices of the Pakistan Cricket Board in a programme of anti-corruption education". All three players were allowed to file an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.