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Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif to fight against life-ban for spot-fixing

Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif to fight against life-ban for spot-fixing

(From left) Mohammad Aamer, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt were convicted for spot-fixing in August 2011 in England © Getty Images

Karachi: Feb 6, 2013

Pakistan’s disgraced former captain Salman Butt has left for Switzerland, along with ex-teammate Mohammad Asif, to attend an International Court of Arbitration for Sports’ appeal hearing against the spot-fixing ban on the duo.

“I am going with high hopes that we will finally get justice in this forum,” Butt said before leaving yesterday.

“I filed an appeal with the CAS because all along, I have pleaded my innocence and said I am not guilty of any corruption,” Butt said.

The two Pakistan players and young pacer Mohammad Aamir were banned in early 2011 by the ICC’s anti-corruption tribunal for spot-fixing.

They were later also prosecuted by a crown court in London and returned home last year after serving the jail terms.

While Butt and Asif have filed appeals with the CAS, Aamir, who admitted his guilt before the crown court, decided against making any appeal.

Butt said conflict resolution professional Graeme Mew will hear the appeals at the CAS.

The 53-year-old Mew is a lawyer practising in England and Canada and has experience of dealing with appeals from sportsmen.

Butt, Aamir and Asif were accused of spot-fixing in the fourth Test between England and Pakistan in Aug 2010 at the Lord’s — a scandal which rocked the international cricket world.

The hearing for Asif, who has been banned for seven years, will take place tomorrow while the hearing for Butt’s case will be held on February 8.

Both the players are being represented by UK-based lawyers Yasin Patel and Ravi Sukul respectively who will appear in the hearing.

Asif’s lawyer, Ravi Sukul said it was a high profile case and the idea of lodging the appeal was to get the ban on his client removed.

“The good thing is both players are in good spirits and we will do our best to get the bans overturned. What is unfortunate is that Asif was a world class bowler and is now lost to the game,” he added.

Asif, 30, played 23 Tests and 38 one-day internationals and was regarded as one of the best new-ball bowlers in the world.

Butt, 28, was made Test captain on that fateful tour of England, and Aamir was regarded as the fastest emerging bowler in the world.

The ICC will be represented by legal firm Bird and Bird.

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