Butt likely to bear the brunt in fixing fiasco


LAHORE: Pakistan’s suspended Test captain Salman Butt could face a seven-year ban and teammates Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer could get two-year bans if charges are proven against them in the next month’s hearing of the ICC’s anti-corruption tribunal in Doha. Reports from ICC sources say that case against Butt was strong and he could likely be banned and slapped heavy financial penalty. Reports of his ban has come at a time when Aitzaz Ahsan, a leading lawyers, withdrew from the case due to non serious attitude of the player.
Ahsan who was working on Butt’s case through an associate – Shahid Saeed – has decided to pull out due to the ‘non serious’ approach of the player. “Ahsan was not happy with the way Salman Butt is fighting his case,” said a source. “He is roping in one lawyer after the other and is only making his case more complicated,” reports said. “The way things are like the frequent change of lawyers and his abrasive relationship with the ICC, he does not appear to be in a position to plead his case effectively,” reports in Indian media claimed. “And apparently the ICC ACU has prepared a long list of evidences against him based on the fact that he was captain and responsible for the conduct of the team,” another media report said.
There were reports the since Butt was captain of the captain, he could face harshest penalty.
“As far as Asif and Aamer are concerned, they are likely to escape with shorter bans of around two years each for their role in the spot-fixing allegations,” the reports said. “These two pace bowlers are in a position to plead that they were ordered by their captain to do what they did and apparently they are being more cooperative and have a better relationship with the ICC ACU,” the reports said.
The source said the ICC had plenty of evidence and extended video footage of interviews with Pakistani bookmaker Mazhar Majeed by the ‘News of the World’ tabloid which first broke the story that implicated the three players in the spot-fixing allegations. The three were provisionally suspended by the ICC in early September after it emerged that Mazhar Majeed had bribed them to deliberately bowl no-balls during the fourth Test against England at Lord’s.
Butt’s position, the source said, appeared to be the weakest and that could be one of the reasons for at least three prominent Pakistani lawyers, after agreeing to represent him, quietly disengaged from representing him in the case.
“Right now Butt only has Yasin Patel, a lawyer of Indian origin in London representing him and that is his best chance,” a law expert said. The source said as the best the suspended captain could hope was for his lawyer to convince the ICC tribunal to impose minimum punishment on him. “It would be better than being banned for life like former captain Salim Malik was in 2000 by the Justice Qayyum tribunal,” he said.