Doha: The International Cricket Council on Sunday asserted that the ban imposed on the tainted Pakistani trio in the spot-fixing scandal were based on solid proof and hoped it would act as deterrent for those who dare to tarnish the image of the game in future.
Commending the decision to hand lengthy bans to Salman Butt, Mohd. Asif and Mohd. Amir, ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat said that corruption in cricket will not be tolerated and the independent tribunal sent down a strong message through its decision in Doha on Saturday.
"I am satisfied that the proceedings are now over and we respect the findings of the independent tribunal. The members of this tribunal are extremely experienced and have considered the matter at great length after hearing detailed submissions from all parties," Lorgat said in a statement.
"From the moment we became aware of the allegations of spot-fixing made by the 'News Of The World' newspaper in August 2010, the ICC has left no stone unturned in pursuing this matter and we are therefore pleased with the outcome.
"While I am deeply saddened that this case happened in the first place, I acknowledge and commend the decision to deliver lengthy bans to all three players. Corruption in our game will never be tolerated and, once again, I reiterate our zero-tolerance approach. I hope this investigation, and the verdicts delivered, makes that message crystal-clear," the ICC chief executive said.
Lorgat said that the world body will first seek legal advice before publishing the tribunal's written reasoned decision for holding the trio guilty of spot fixing.
"We note and agree with the tribunal's strong and unanimous desire for the ICC to publish the decision in the interests of all concerned in the world of cricket. We are also aware of and fully respect the decision of the United Kingdom's Crown Prosecution Service to charge the players with criminal offences in the UK.
"With that in mind, we will carefully review the full decision and take proper legal advice before making any decision on publishing the reasoned determination," Lorgat said.
An ICC Anti-Corruption tribunal yesterday banned former captain Butt for 10 years with five years of suspended sentence. Asif was handed a seven-year ban with two years suspended sentence while Amir was banned for five years.
The tribunal, chaired by Michael Beloff, QC, found the three Pakistan players - Butt, Amir and Asif - guilty of charges relating to spot-fixing at the Lord's Test match between England and Pakistan in August last.
In addition, Butt was also found guilty of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code by failing to report an approach made to him by Mazhar Majeed to engage in corrupt activity during the Oval Test earlier in the month.
In all three cases, the commencement of each of the bans imposed against the players will be backdated to September 2, 2010 so as to give credit for the period of provisional suspension already served.
Chairman of the ICC Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) Sir Ronnie Flanagan said, "Over the past few months, the ACSU and the ICC's legal team have worked extremely hard on this case, including in its investigations prior to the time that the 'News Of The World's' story broke.
"We have subsequently received significant support and cooperation from the newspaper's investigators and the Metropolitan Police in order to develop the evidence on which the tribunal has based its decision. I would like to take this opportunity to thank 'News Of the World' and the Metropolitan Police for all of their assistance during this process."