In news that has stunned the cricketing fraternity, the ICC tribunal presiding over the spot-fixing case has announced its verdict, declaring all three accused - Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir - guilty of conspiracy to cheat and banning Butt from international cricket for 10 years, Mohammad Asif for 7 years and Amir, the youngest accused, for a period of 5 years. The sanctions follow the collusion of the three accused with alleged bookmaker Mazhar Majeed in a spot-fixing scandal which rocked the cricketing landscape in August last year.
The announcement comes after a day of discussion and deliberation in Doha between the three-man tribunal - comprising Michael Beloff QC, Sharad Rao and Justice Albie Sachs - and the players and their legal teams.
Now a procedure of appeals is likely to unfold with the three convicted players ready to turn to the Court of Arbitration of Sport in Switzerland.
Salman Butt was found guilty of ordering fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir to bowl deliberate no-balls in the fourth Test against England in Aug 2010, while the latter two were deemed culpable for their complicity in the move. But one charge against Butt - the supposed deliberate batting out of a maiden over in the previous Test - was dismissed.
The independent Anti-Corruption Tribunal which has been hearing the cases of Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif under the ICC's Anti-Corruption Code for Players and Player Support Personnel had adjourned on Tuesday 11th January 2011 after a six day hearing, with Feb 5 named as the date when the verdict and quantum of punishment would be announced.