National, Sports

Court of Arbitration for Sport rejects Asif, Butt, appeals

Salman Butt and Muhammad Asif’s appeal against the ICC’s ban was today rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The CAS on Wednesday said that it had rejected appeals against spot-fixing bans filed by disgraced former Pakistan cricket captain Salman Butt and fast bowler Mohammad Asif.

“The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeals filed by the Pakistani cricket players Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt against the decisions taken by the International Cricket Council Tribunal on 5 February 2011,” it said in a statement.

The two players had turned to the Swiss-based CAS in a last-ditch attempt to have their bans voided, saying they were desperate to return to the game they love.

Butt and two of his fast bowlers, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer, were all banned by the ICC in 2011 after being found guilty of deliberately contriving no-balls in return for money in the Lord’s Test in England the previous year.

Butt received a 10-year ban, five years of which were suspended, and Asif was barred for seven years, with two suspended.

In their CAS case, they maintained that at the ages of 28 and 30 respectively, the suspensions were a career-ending punishment and that they should be given another opportunity to play for Pakistan.

The now-defunct British newspaper the News of the World exposed the players in a sting operation involving their agent Mazhar Majeed who struck a deal for 150,000 pounds ($230,000) with an undercover reporter.

All three men were jailed in England in November 2011 over the scandal — which was linked to illegal betting — and were released last year after completing half of their sentences.

Muhammad Amir pleaded guilty in court and decided not to appeal the five-year ban imposed by the ICC ban. He has since coordinated with ICC and has even appeared in different ads of ICC which educates people about the possible outcomes of involving in match fixing.

The CAS appeals of Butt and Asif were heard by a three-member panel led by lawyer Graham Mew and accompanied by Romano Subiotto and Robert Reid. The rejection decision surely came as a shocker for the due who were hoping that CAS would reinstate them and they would be able to play for Pakistan again.

Salman Butt said that he was greatly disappointed but he would still continue to fight and clear his name from this scandal. It is to be note here that Salman Butt continues to say that he had nothing to do with the spot fixing scandal. He said that he was 28 years old and he was optimistic of his return to Pakistan cricket as the current Captain of Pakistan team was 39 years old and the vice captain was 33. He said there was 2 years and 4 months ban left and he was sure that he could make it.

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