Friday, January 14, 2011

Spot-fixing case: Former ICC chief feels suspended Pak trio will be "harshly punished".

Former International Cricket Council (ICC) President Ehsan Mani has expressed his happiness with the way the anti-corruption tribunal has handled the spot-fixing case against the suspended Pakistani trio, and said he has a 'gut feeling' that 'all the three' will be handed harsh punishments when the final verdict is announced next month.

The tribunal has been constituted to determine charges against the trio- Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif- brought under the ICC Anti-Corruption Code in relation to two Test matches played during August 2010 in the series between Pakistan and England, The Oval Test and the Lord's Test.

Following the hearing that lasted over 45 hours, spread over six days, the tribunal has determined to continue its deliberations, and will hold a further hearing in Doha on 5 February 2011, at which its decisions will be handed down to the parties, and any consequential matters will be dealt with.

Mani backed the tribunal's decision to push the final decision to February 5, contending that this case would have a huge impact on the cricket world, and also rubbished the fears over the tribunal's ability to deal with such a high profile case, the Daily Times reported.

"Anyone questioning the tribunal's credentials or impartiality is totally wrong. All the gentlemen on the tribunal are men of great esteem and from the judicial background. I have no doubt over their ability to give a verdict based on fairness and justice," Mani was quoted as saying.

"It is good the tribunal is taking its time in reaching a verdict and wants to study all available material before it. This is a case the outcome of which will have a big impact on the future of international cricket and I don't think there should be any hurry in giving a decision on the spot-fixing charges," he added.
Mani also felt that the suspended trio would be punished, but added that the players still had the right to approach the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

"I have no doubt in the ability of Michael Beloff and his team. It's a high profile case and the delay was expected. Not to forget that the players have a right to approach the Court of Arbitration for Sport also, therefore the tribunal wanted to take sufficient time to analysis all angles of the case," he said.

"My gut feeling is that all the three will be harshly punished. However, I will be very disappointed for pacer Mohammad Aamir who is the best young talent around," added Mani, who was ICC president between 2003 and 2006.

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