Lahore:Three Pakistani players who remain suspended for their alleged role in spot-fixing during recent England tour, have consulted their lawyers to file a detailed reply to the notice sent to them by the International Cricket Council outlining the reasons for their suspensions.
Test captain Salman Butt and pace bowlers Muhammad Aamir and Muhammad Asif were suspended by the ICC earlier this month after British tabloid 'News of the World' broke a story saying they had taken money to bowl no-balls during the fourth Test at Lord's.
The trio who have returned home from England were given 14-days' notice to respond to the charges against them but they got an extension on time from the ICC.
"Now they are busy preparing their detailed reply to the notices sent to them by the ICC as they feel the suspensions on them are not justified," PCB's legal advisor Tafazzul Rizvi said.
He said that once the players sent their individual replies to the ICC the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit would then convene a preliminary hearing to hear evidences against the players and decide if the suspensions were justified.
"If the matter goes beyond the preliminary hearing then it would be heard by the commissioner of the code of conduct commission of the ICC in 40 days time," he said.
Sources in the Board said that the PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt had told his legal team to start pushing for the preliminary hearing so that selectors could be clear on the availability of the three players who are key members of the national team.
"Pakistan is next up against South Africa in the UAE from next month and then tour New Zealand, the selectors want to know which of the players would be available for selection for these tours," the source said.
The source said Butt had instructed the legal team to get the ICC to either give a preliminary hearing date or have the suspensions revoked.
"The Board is also anxiously waiting for the report of the prosecutor's office on the Scotland Yard investigations into the allegations against the three players.
"If the prosecutor's office clears them then ICC would also not be in a position to continue the suspension for long," the source added.
The source said with the 2011 World Cup now few months away the selectors were anxious to know the status of the suspended trio and coach Waqar Younis had also told the Board Chairman this issue should be cleared up as soon as possible.