ICC rejects Butt, Amir's appeal against suspension

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/b/butt-amir.jpg' class='caption'> The International Cricket Council has rejected appeals of Pakistani cricketers Salman Butt, Mohd Amir against their suspension.

Updated: October 31, 2010 12:05 IST
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The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Sunday rejected the appeals of Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt and Mohammad Amir against suspensions for spot-fixing.

The two, along with fast bowler Mohammad Asif, were provisionally suspended by the ICC over allegations they were involved in spot-fixing during Pakistan's summer tour of England.

All three appealed, but Asif later withdrew his application.

ICC code of conduct commissioner Michael Beloff announced the decision after a two-day hearing which started early Saturday, saying the players will have to appear before another tribunal to further their cases.

"Salman (Butt) and (Mohammad) Amir had appealed against the suspension imposed on them by the ICC on September 2 for various breaches of the code of conduct.

"Having considered every aspect of the case I dismiss their appeals and they remain suspended," Beloff told reporters outside the ICC headquarters here.

The two cricketers arrived with their lawyers -- Salman with Khalid Ranjha, a former law minister, and Aftab Gul, a former Pakistan player, and Amir with his lawyer Shahid Karim.

Beloff said all three cricketers, including Asif, will have to appear before a ICC code of conduct commission which he will announce in due course.

"The players have denied the charges, but they will remain suspended before a code of conduct commission is formed to hear the case.

"It was not up to me to decide whether they committed any crime, the commission will establish their guilt and if they are found guilty then they will be given punishment as per the ICC code of conduct."

The scandal broke after a report by British tabloid The News of the World prompted Scotland Yard to launch an investigation into allegations of spot-fixing during the Lord's Test against England in August.

Police raided the team's hotel in London and questioned Salman, Amir, Asif and bowler Wahab Riaz, but they have yet to formally level any charges.

Owing to their suspensions, the trio have been excluded from Pakistan's current tour of the United Arab Emirates, where South Africa is the opposition.

Pakistan Cricket Board legal adviser Taffazul Rizvi said the decision was under the ICC jurisdictions.

"The decision is within the ICC's jurisdiction but it will not affect the actual case which we hope will be heard soon," said Rizvi.

ICC in its brief statement said: "The chairman code of conduct commission heard the case in which players had challeneged the suspension under the ICC Anti-Corruption code. After considering all the evidence Mr. Beloff has rejected the challenges.

"As such, the players remain provisionally suspended from all cricket pending the outcome of the independent Anti-Corruption Tribunal which will hear their disciplinary case in due course."

The ICC said Asif also remained suspended.

"As Asif chose not to challenge his provisional suspension, he also remains suspended. The ICC will make no further comments."

The ICC code of conduct carries a minimum of five year punishment if corruption charges are proved. The maximum punishment is a life ban.

Salman's lawyer Ranjha termed the decision as "unhappy."

"The decision has left us unhappy," Ranjha told reporters. "The hearing was fair and thorough, and now we have 40 days to fight the disciplinary case and we will decide our course of action."

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