Maintaining that the three tainted Pakistani cricketers have not been punished in the spot-fixing scam, the ICC today said that an independent commissioner will be appointed to go into the whole issue and the players will be able to put their views before him.
The International Cricket Council would appoint an independent commissioner to look into the charges and any action would be taken on recommendation of the appointed commissioner, ICC President Sharad Pawar said here.
The players -- Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir -- have a right to contest their provisional suspension and a further opportunity to defend the charges at a full hearing before an independent Anti-Corruption Tribunal in accordance with Article 5 of the code.
"We have not punished anybody yet," Pawar told PTI. He noted that under the ICC anti-corruption rules, the suspected players needed to be notified and an investigation conducted. Pawar's comments came close on the heels of Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK Wajid Shamsul Hasan terming the trio's suspension as a "conspiracy" and blaming the ICC President for it.
"We have to send a notice to that particular player but that notice is not a final decision. It is a means of giving him (player) an opportunity to explain his position," Pawar said.
"This is not an action (the suspension), this is a sort of notice to them and an opportunity to explain," he said. "If he (the player) is not guilty then certainly he has the right to put his views," said Pawar, also India's Agriculture Minister, who was here to inaugurate the North American unit of his Nationalist Congress Party.
The Pakistani High Commissioner, earlier, tried to insinuate that Pawar may have had a hand in getting Butt, Asif and Amir suspended, claiming that ICC was trying to make Pakistan a "scapegoat" for its inefficiency.
In a statement, ICC confirmed that the 'cash-for-no-ball' accused "have been officially notified of the offences they are alleged to have committed and have been provisionally suspended pending a decision on those charges."