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Page last updated at 09:54 GMT, Sunday, 6 February 2011

Salman Butt disappointed by 10-year playing ban

Salman Butt
Butt was one of three Pakistan cricketers banned by the ICC

Former Pakistan cricket captain Salman Butt says he is "disappointed" by the 10-year ban imposed on him and is planning an appeal.

"I don't agree with the ban," he said after the ICC anti-corruption tribunal.

"We will appeal the ban once we get the judgement and study it. But we definitely want to clear our names from this ban."

Butt was handed the punishment, with five years suspended, as a result of spot-fixing allegations.

Butt, 26, and bowlers Mohammed Asif, 28, and Mohammed Amir, 18, were found guilty of corruption by an International Cricket Council tribunal in Qatar.

Asif was given a seven-year ban with two suspended, while Amir was banned for five years over accusations that they deliberately bowled no-balls at pre-arranged times during the fourth Test in England last August.

The head of the ICC tribunal, Michael Beloff, has recommended changes to the code of conduct to allow more flexibility in sentencing.

"The judge has said there is a need to amend the law which is a good thing," Butt told reporters at Lahore airport.

"And we can go to court of arbitration, so there is still hope."


Mohammed Amir's lawyer has already said that the left-arm paceman will appeal against his suspension, but the player himself was despondent.

"Today was the worst day of my life," he said. "Cricket has given me everything and it has been everything and if I don't play it I have nothing. I left education to play cricket and I have nothing other than cricket."

"For a cricketer whose life is cricket, this is like destroying their life," he continued.

"Two no-balls should not be five years punishment, they have said this themselves," Amir said. "I will also say it is too much and I wasn't expecting it.

However, the 18-year-old, who took 51 wickets in only 14 Tests in 13 months of international cricket vowed to return: "There are lots of grounds in Pakistan and I won't stop practicing and keeping fit. I will work doubly hard and I will be back," he claimed.

The chief executive of the ICC, Haroon Lorgat was satisfied the case had been concluded.

"I think it's important we have succeeded in the conviction," he told BBC's Sportsweek programme.

"It's a complex case but it's a message we are sending out that we will not tolerate any corruption. We want this message to be crystal clear.

"We will do everything in our power for the World Cup to be corrupt free and we are confident that the measures are in place to achieve that."

He confirmed physical measures would be implemented such as banning mobile phones in the dressing room and that players will be expected to report any approaches made about match-fixing.

"There will always be a temptation for players and we will ensure that they are made aware of their obligations," he added.

"We are confident that the education process, the physical process, the intelligence gathering and the convictions are the cornerstones to help make the game corruption free. We are confident we are winning the battle."

Meanwhile, former Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan said the bans imposed on the three Pakistan players were too light.

"It's a very shameful thing for Pakistan cricket that three of our players are found guilty," Khan commented.

"I thought at least two [Asif and Butt] might get life bans and the third one [Amir] would get a lesser punishment."

Separately, all three players and their agent Mazhar Majeed have been charged with conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments and conspiracy to cheat by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Majeed is due to appear at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on 17 March.

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see also
Long bans for Pakistan cricketers
05 Feb 11 |  Pakistan

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