ICC defers Pakistan cricket ruling

Cricket body's inquiry panel to pronounce verdict on February 5 on three players accused of spot-fixing.

    Mohammad Asif is one of three Pakistan players accused of delivering no-balls for cash at Lord's cricket ground [AFP]

    The International Cricket Council (ICC) has deferred until February 5 a final decision on three Pakistan cricket players accused of spot-fixing, despite giving two of them a partial reprieve.

    The announcement came after Salman Butt, the Pakistani captain at the time of the alleged offences, and fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir appeared before a three-man panel on Tuesday in Doha, Qatar.

    The charges covered Tests against England at the Oval and the Lord's cricket grounds in August 2010.

    The cricketers are accused of bowling no-balls at arranged times for payments during the Lords Test.

    Two charges dismissed

    Al Jazeera's Sunniya Pirzada, at the hearing, said that the ICC withdrew charges against Asif and Aamir for the Oval Test but not against Butt.

    It was not previously known that the Oval charges were to be included in the investigation.

    The Lords Test charges against all three remain.

    "The tribunal have throughout been very conscious of the importance of these proceedings to the three players and the wider world of cricket," Michael Beloff, commissioner of the three-man independent hearing, said.

    "Representations have been made to it to reserve any decision on the charges still before it until it has had sufficient time to give the issues careful consideration and until it is able, at the same time as handing down its decision, to provide written reasons.

    "This would not be feasible in the timeframe agreed for this hearing in Doha.

    "The tribunal has therefore determined to continue its deliberations and hold a further hearing in Doha on the fifth of February of this year, at which its decisions will be handed down to the parties and any consequential matters will be dealt with."

    Beloff said that the three players will remain suspended from competitive cricket until the next hearing's decision.

    The trio have denied the accusations initially made in September last year in a British newspaper.

    They are accused of receiving payments for deliberately delivering no-balls at a Test in August against England at the Lord's cricket ground.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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