Cricket council urges Pakistan team members to apologize for spot-fixing

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Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt and his teammate Mohammad Asif should move on with their lives by “apologizing” for the spot-fixing that resulted in their suspensions, the International Cricket Council chief executive said on Tuesday.

They were found guilty in an English criminal trial of arranging to bowl no-balls for betting scams during an August 2010 test at Lord’s. Butt lost his appeal last week in the Court of Arbitration for Sport to reduce a 10-year ban while Asif failed to overturn a seven-year suspension. Both will serve five years with the remainder suspended.

“The guilt of these men has now been established on three separate occasions, in three separate sets of proceedings and in three separate forums,” the ICC’s David Richardson said.

“In addition to the CAS finding Mr. Asif a party to the conspiracy to act corruptly, it is also pleasing to note from the decisions that Mr. Butt acknowledged his part in the fix before the CAS panel,” he said. “The time has now come for them to stop misleading the members of the public, especially the supporters of the Pakistan cricket team, and to publicly accept their parts in this corrupt conspiracy.”

Richardson also urges them to “come clean” with ICC anti-corruption officials.

“I am certain that both Mr. Butt and Mr. Asif have information that can be of great assistance to the (Anti-Corruption and Security Unit) and its ongoing fight against corruption in cricket,” he said. “I would, therefore, urge them, without any further delay, to start the process of rebuilding their lives and reputations by apologizing for their actions and meeting with ICC’s anti-corruption officials to come clean about what actually happened.”

Pakistan cricket has been constantly hit by fixing charges in recent times, and this month the Pakistan Cricket Board banned international umpire Nadeem Ghauri for four years over corruption charges.

Richardson said the CAS ruling “justifies” the ICC’s anti-corruption campaign.

“In my opinion, the single biggest threat to the viability and strength of the sport of cricket, both at international and domestic level, is that posed by those few unscrupulous individuals who, for unlawful financial reward, choose to engage in corrupt practices,” he said.

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