Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif have been handed lengthy bans following an independent Anti-Corruption Tribunal hearing in Doha, Qatar.
The three were found guilty of deliberately bowling no balls during the fourth and final Test against England in August 2010 at Lord's although Butt was found not guilty of deliberately batting out a maiden over during the same game.
As such, all three were handed bans ranging from five to ten years. Amir has been given a five-year ban, Asif a seven-year ban, of which two years are suspended and Butt a ten-year ban, five years of which are suspended.
Mr Michael Beloff QC, who chaired the meeting, explained:
"The independent Anti-Corruption Tribunal which has been hearing the cases of Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif under the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Code for Players and Player Support Personnel had adjourned on Tuesday 11th January 2011 after a six day hearing.
"The Tribunal reconvened today for further submissions and thereafter announced the following decisions.
"The Tribunal found that the charge under Article 2.1.1 of the Code that Mr Butt agreed to bat out a maiden over in the Oval Test match played between Pakistan and England from 18 to 21 August 2010 was dismissed, whereas the charge under Article 2.4.2 that Mr Butt failed to disclose to the ICC’s ACSU the approach by Mr Majeed that Mr Butt should bat a maiden over in the Oval Test was proved.
"The Tribunal found that the charges under Article 2.1.1 of the Code that (respectively) Mr Asif agreed to bowl and did bowl a deliberate no ball in the Lord’s Test match played between Pakistan and England from 26 to 29 August 2010, Mr Amir agreed to bowl and did bowl two deliberate no balls in the same Test, and Mr Butt was party to the bowling of those deliberate no balls, were proved.
"We impose the following sanctions:
"On Mr Butt a sanction of ten years ineligibility, five years of which are suspended on condition that he commits no further breach of the code and that he participates under the auspices of the Pakistan Cricket Board in a programme of Anti-Corruption education.
"On Mr Asif a sanction of seven years ineligibility two years of which are suspended on condition that he commits no further breach of the code and that he participates under the auspices of the Pakistan Cricket Board in a programme of Anti-Corruption education.
"On Mr Amir sanction of five years of ineligibility.
"No further sanctions are imposed on any player and no orders are made as to costs.
"The Tribunal has recommended to the ICC certain changes to the Code with a view to providing flexibility in relation to minimum sentences in exceptional circumstances.
"The Tribunal note that it is for the ICC, whether and if so when, the fully reasoned decision in respect of the breaches of the Code and of the sanctions imposed in consequence should be published.
"It is our strong and unanimous view that it is in the interests of all concerned in the world of cricket that publication should take place as soon as possible."
The three cricketers, as well as their agent Mazhar Majeed, are also set to face criminal charges in the UK for their actions.
© Cricket World 2011