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Pakistan trio need to come clean for cricket

ICC chief executive Dave Richardson says it is time for cricketers to admit guilt and accept their parts in scandal.

Last Modified: 23 Apr 2013 15:59
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ICC chief Richardson believes Butt and Asif have information that would help fight against corruption [AFP]

Disgraced Pakistan trio Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir should stop 'misleading the public' and instead help cricket in 'the fight against corruption', International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Dave Richardson said on Tuesday.

The careers of former Pakistan captain Butt and pace bowler Asif received their death knell last week after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) threw out their appeals against lengthy spot-fixing bans.

Butt, 28, Asif, 30, and Amir, 21, were banned by an ICC tribunal in 2011 after they were found guilty of arranging deliberate no-balls to be delivered in a 2010 Lord's Test against England.

"The time has now come for them to stop misleading the members of the public, especially the supporters of the Pakistan cricket team, and to publicly accept their parts in this corrupt conspiracy"

ICC chief executive Dave Richardson

The 'cash for no-balls' scandal also led to the trio being jailed in England for corruption and Richardson said that since the players have now exhausted all avenues of getting their bans reduced, they should start "coming clean about what really happened".

"The guilt of these men has now been established on three separate occasions, in three separate sets of proceedings, and in three separate forums - first, before the independent Anti-Corruption Tribunal, then in the English criminal courts, and now, finally, before the ultimate appeal body in sport, the Court of Arbitration for Sport," Richardson said in a statement.

"The time has now come for them to stop misleading the members of the public, especially the supporters of the Pakistan cricket team, and to publicly accept their parts in this corrupt conspiracy.

"I am certain that both Mr Butt and Mr Asif have information that can be of great assistance... (in the) ongoing fight against corruption in cricket."

Butt, the orchestrator of the plot, was banned for 10 years, with five of those suspended. Asif was banned for seven years, two of those suspended. Amir was given a five-year ban and did not lodge an appeal with CAS.

'Zero tolerance'

The 2010 scandal was the second time in just over a decade that serious corruption was found in international cricket after the match-fixing furore in 2000 when three captains - South Africa's Hansie Cronje, Saleem Malik of Pakistan and India's Mohammed Azharuddin - were banned for life from all forms of cricket.

Spot-fixing involves a player, or players, agreeing to perform to order. For example, a bowler might deliberately bowl consecutive wides in his second over or a batsman could make sure he does not reach double figures.

As individual spot-fixing incidents may have no influence on a game's outcome, they are particularly difficult to detect and the Lord's no-ball offences came to the authorities' attention only after a sting operation by a British newspaper.

"In my opinion, the single biggest threat to the viability and strength of the sport of cricket... is that posed by those few unscrupulous individuals who, for unlawful financial reward, choose to engage in corrupt practices," said Richardson.

"By so doing, they threaten the very fabric, essence and integrity of a sport played honestly and fairly by its overwhelming majority of participants and cherished by millions of supporters across the globe.

"The ICC and its member boards will continue to remain vigilant in our attempts to prevent corruption in the sport that we are charged with developing and protecting around the world. On behalf of our stakeholders, we are committed to a zero-tolerance attitude towards any such corruption."

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Source:
Reuters
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