Debutant Pujara hits 72 as Australia fall to 7-wicket defeat while ICC find no evidence of corruption in Pakistan ODI.
|Asif celebrates a wicket during the controversial fourth Test against England at Lord’s [GALLO/GETTY]|
Pakistan pace bowler Mohammad Asif said he had withdrawn his appeal against a suspension for alleged ‘spot-fixing’ next week to give his lawyers more time to prepare a challenge.
Asif, Mohammad Amir and Salman Butt were suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for their alleged involvement in a betting scandal that rocked the sport in the summer.
A report in the British News of the World newspaper alleged that they had deliberately arranged for no-balls to be delivered at specific times in the fourth Test against England at Lord’s in August.
On Friday the ICC said Asif had withdraw his appeal and arrangements were now being made for Test captain Butt and fast bowler Amir to challenge their suspensions in Dubai on October 30 and 31.
The ICC said a hearing had previously been due to be held in Qatar.
“I decided to withdraw the appeal against the suspension for now since we got the detailed documents relating to the case late from the ICC and my lawyers need more time to prepare for a detailed challenge,” Asif told the Reuters news agency on Saturday.
Asif said he had done nothing wrong and would eventually contest both the suspension and the spot-fixing allegations.
“I am innocent,” he said.
Butt told Pakistan’s Geo TV that Asif’s decision to withdraw his appeal would not affect his own challenge.
‘Valuable cricket time’
“I have no intentions of withdrawing my appeal. I have done nothing wrong and this suspension means loss of valuable cricket time for me and I will challenge it,” Butt said.
He said he was optimistic that the ICC would remove the suspension at the forthcoming hearing.
“I am clear in conscience as I have done nothing wrong. The onus of proving their allegations against me is now on the accusers,” Butt said.
British police are also investigating the spot-fixing allegations against the trio.
The ICC on Saturday also asked all players to sign an anti-corruption declaration as part of its attempt to ensure integrity in the game.
Chief executive Haroon Lorgat said an advisory was sent to all members “about the need to root out corruption,” which requests players sign a one-off declaration before their next international match.