UK court verdict a warning: ICC

Last Updated: Tue, Nov 01, 2011 22:03 hrs

Dubai, Nov 1 (IBNS) The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday night said the outcome of the UK court trial on the Pakistani players accused of spot-fixing is in tune with the findings of the ICC's anti-corruption tribunal and the judgement came as a warning to all tempted to act like the offenders.

"These outcomes appear to be consistent with the findings of the independent anti-corruption tribunal which was appointed earlier this year to hear charges brought against the three players by the ICC under our own Anti-Corruption Code," said Haroon Lorgat, the ICC Chief Executive, in a statement in relation to the developments in the criminal proceedings at Southwark Crown Court in London.

"As you all know, those proceedings ultimately resulted in the three players being found guilty of offences under the Anti-Corruption Code and they were accordingly suspended from all forms of cricket for five, seven and ten years respectively. To be clear, the developments in the English criminal courts will have no impact upon those periods of suspension, which will remain in full force and effect," he said.

'The ICC takes no pleasure from the fact that these players stepped outside not only the laws of the game but also the criminal laws of the country in which they were participating.

"In addition to constituting offences under the ICC's Anti-Corruption Code, for which sporting sanctions have been imposed, such conduct has now been shown to constitute criminal behaviour for which serious criminal sanctions can also be imposed," he said.

"Of course, we note that the Judge is yet to determine the appropriate sentence for each of the three players so I do not comment further in that regard, but we hope that this verdict is seen as a further warning to any individual who might, for whatever reason, be tempted to engage in corrupt activity within our sport," Logart said.

"I am satisfied that we have worked closely with the Crown Prosecution Service and Metropolitan Police throughout this entire process, and I believe that this case has shown that it is possible for criminal authorities and sports bodies to cooperate with each other, in difficult circumstances, in the best interests of the sport and the public at large.

"I would reiterate, as I have on every occasion that I have spoken on this matter, that the ICC has a zero-tolerance attitude towards corruption and that we will use everything within our power to ensure that any suggestion of corrupt activity within our game is comprehensively investigated and, where appropriate, robustly prosecuted.

"We have always said that we will continue to explore every possible avenue to ensure that cricket is free from corrupt activity. That is precisely what we have done in this case," Logart said.

Former Pakistani cricketers Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif could be the first cricketers to be put behind bars as they face jail sentences of up to seven years after being found guilty of spot-fixing in the fourth Test between England and Pakistan at Lord´s in Aug 2010.

Butt, who was the captain during the match, was found guilty of cheating and accepting corrupt payments while Asif, who at the time of the Test
match was ranked the world´s No.2 bowler, was found guilty of cheating.

The third player involved, the fast bowler Mohammad Amir, pleaded guilty on Sept 16 to charges of conspiracy to cheat at gambling and accepting corrupt payments.

Butt and Asif are the first sportsmen, who have been convicted of cheating under the Gambling Act 2005.

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