Bans are

Karachi, February 7, 2011

The head of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday said lengthy bans given to three Pakistani players for spot-fixing were “regrettable” but promised to help them in their rehabilitation.

“PCB terms the verdict against the three players as regrettable and a sad reality which must be faced,” Ijaz Butt said in a statement.

An International Cricket Council (ICC) anti-corruption tribunal on Saturday banned former Pakistan captain Salman Butt for ten years, Mohammad Asif for seven years and Mohammad Aamer for five years after a hearing in Doha.

The charges against them related to alleged incidents during the Test against England at Lord’s last year, when Britain’s News of the World newspaper claimed the players were willing to deliberately bowl no-balls.

The newspaper alleged the three had colluded in a spot-fixing betting scam organised by British-based agent Mazhar Majeed.

“PCB has full confidence in the process followed by the tribunal culminating in the sanctions on the three players under the Anti Corruption code”, PCB chief Butt added.

In a separate development on Friday, British prosecutors charged the three players as well as Majeed with corruption offences and summoned them to appear in a London court on March 17.

Salman and Aamer have indicated they wish to appeal against the ICC tribunal’s verdict, but Asif till now has given no reaction.

The players have 21 days to appeal against the sanctions at the Court of Arbitration for Sports, based in Switzerland.