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Pakistan Cricket Board backs bans on three players

Pakistan cricketers will be helped by the PCB
Butt, Amir and Asif face a minimum of five years out of the game

The Pakistan Cricket Board has backed the decision of an anti-corruption tribunal which banned three players for spot-fixing during a Test match.

Batsman Salman Butt and seam bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were banned for a minimum of five years.

PCB chairman Ijaz Butt called it "regrettable and a sad reality which must be faced."

He added: "I now hope this unfortunate saga is put to rest and we can concentrate on cricket."

All three players were found guilty by the International Cricket Council tribunal after a six-day hearing in the Qatari city of Doha.

Former captain Butt, 26, was handed a 10-year ban, half of which was suspended, Asif, 28, was banned for seven years, two suspended, and 18-year-old Amir was given a five-year ban.

DAVID BOND BLOG

The players were accused of spot-fixing in the fourth Test between Pakistan and England at Lord's last August, but had always denied any wrongdoing.

All three can appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) and Butt and Amir have already indicated that they will do so.

"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 said following the hearing.

"Today was the worst day of my life," commented Amir. "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."

Amir vows to make 'strong' comeback

Butt described the last six months as extremely painful for Pakistan cricket but said the PCB would help the trio with their "education and rehabilitation programme".

He added: "We will also continue to work with the ICC on this sensitive matter."

In a separate inquiry, 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
Butt disappointed by cricket ban
06 Feb 11 |  Pakistan
Long bans for Pakistan cricketers
05 Feb 11 |  Pakistan


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