International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat has issued a statement after a court in England convicted Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt of conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments.
After allegations that the two players as well as Mohammad Amir had been involved in a spot-fixing plot during Pakistan's tour of England in 2010, an ICC anti-corruption tribunal banned the three players for lengthy periods for breaching the ICC's Anti-Corruption code.
“The ICC has been closely following the criminal trial at Southwark Crown Court in England over the past few weeks," he said, talking in Dubai.
"We note that the jury has found Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif guilty of the criminal offences with which they were charged and also that Mohammad Amir had pleaded guilty to the criminal offences with which he was charged.
“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. 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.
"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. 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.
"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.”
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