Butt, Aamer disappointed over ICC decision

By Awais Saleem, IANS
Monday, November 1, 2010

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan cricket players Salman Butt and Mohammad Aamer Monday expressed disappointment over the decision of the International Cricket Council (ICC) to uphold their suspension from all forms of cricket.

The chairman of the ICC’s code of conduct committee Michael Bailiff rejected the appeals of the two players against their suspension over allegations od spot-fixing.

The players spoke to the media at the Allma Iqbal International Airport in Lahore on their return from Dubai where they attended the hearing with their lawyers.

“We are not losing hope because we know that we have not done anything wrong,” said a defiant Salman, who is the Test captain on the England tour. “The ICC commission heard our case but it seemed that they had a pre-conceived mindset over the verdict.”

“We believe that we are being victimised on account of being Pakistanis. ICC has no evidence to support the case other than the News of the World allegations. We will wait for a day or two for the next date of hearing before finalising the next plan of action,” he said.

Teenage pacer Aamer feels the ICC did not give them a fair hearing and called it a conspiracy against Pakistan.

“The first day’s proceedings gave us the hope that the decision will be in our favour but everything fell apart when the verdict was announced. We had gone there to seek justice but the ICC did not listen to the argument of lawyers,” he said.

“It is a conspiracy against Pakistan and our name is being dragged without any reason. The ICC has not even given the next date of hearing. The Pakistan Cricket Board and the government need to support us in resolving the matter.”

Butt, Aamer and pacer Mohammad Asif were suspended by ICC Sep 2 during Pakistan’s tour of England after the British tabloid “News of the World” carried a report in which a bookie Mazhar Majeed was alleged to have taken money on behalf of the players to bowl no-balls during the Lords test match.

The players were dropped from the squad and placed on suspension pending during the investigation into the allegations of spot-fixing. Asif had also challenged the suspension along with Butt and Aamer but decided to withdraw his appeal prior to the two-day hearing in Dubai.

(Awais Saleem can be contacted at ians.pakistan@gmail.com)

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