Accused Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer were awaiting a sporting tribunal’s ruling on spot-fixing allegations against them yesterday.
The charges relate to alleged incidents during a Test match against England at Lord’s last year, when Britain’s News of the World tabloid claimed the players were willing to deliberately bowl no-balls.
A three-man International Cricket Council (ICC) anti-corruption tribunal, which deferred a decision after a six-day hearing last month, began proceedings in Doha at 9am local time.
The tribunal was headed by Michael Beloff QC, while the other two members are Albie Sachs of South Africa and Sharad Rao of Kenya.
Aamer’s lawyer Shahid Karim said that a set procedure would be followed.
“We understand that written verdicts are given to the players and the ICC by the tribunal first. If they are found guilty the lawyers and players will debate on the possible sanctions,” Karim said.
If found guilty the minimum punishment the tribunal can impose is a five-year ban, with a life bar the maximum.
Separately the trio, along with British-based agent Mazhar Majeed, were charged by Crown Prosecution Services (CPS) in London on Friday.
“I am surprised and shocked by the CPS announcement,” Karim said. “A day before the ICC tribunal verdict, the CPS announcement has changed the scenario in the case.”
All three players — currently suspended from international cricket — have denied the allegations.