Evidence enough for ICC
If Thursday began quietly, meandered along and ended in a bang as the International Cricket Council suspended Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt, Friday got off to a hectic start in London, the epicentre of the latest scandal to rock cricket. HT reports.cricket Updated: Sep 03, 2010 23:33 IST
If Thursday began quietly, meandered along and ended in a bang as the International Cricket Council suspended Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt, Friday got off to a hectic start in London, the epicentre of the latest scandal to rock cricket.
At 11 a.m. England time, Haroon Lorgat, chief executive of the ICC, and Sri Ronnie Flanagan, cricket's anti-corruption chief, spoke in detail for the first time since allegations of impropriety were levelled against key Pakistani players.
"The press suggested this week that why didn't the ICC act immediately. There was no specific cause to make us act yesterday," explained Flanagan. "It was about taking legal advice, having teleconferences and examine the case."
"The conclusion was that it was an arguable case against the players," said Flanagan. "We certainly came to the conclusion that they have a case to answer to our disciplinary commission."
Lorgat, for his part, re-emphasised that the ICC would be "decisive" in its action but only after establishing the players' guilt. "We promise to be decisive. We got a week for due diligence. We have got to be very mindful of the interviews that are going on right now with the police."
Flanagan, however, would not say whether criminal charges would be pressed against the players.
"It would be absolutely wrong for me to comment (on whether criminal charges would be brought). If the police find evidence, it is for the prosecuting authorities to make that decision," said Flanagan. "We would be absolutely wrong to make a comment on that. It's a complex investigation."
Lorgat denied, however, that the latest affair was only the tip of the iceberg when it came to corruption in cricket.
"We can't work on hearsay or speculation. The vast majority of players are honest and on occasions, they are not, we deal with it," he said. "We don't believe spot-fixing is widespread and in few instances where a few might be committing something we don't want to see, we will act. Let's see what the evidence we have."
The ICC action was the first time the world body has suspended cricketers under its Anti-corruption Code.
The provisional suspension was handed under Article 4.6 of the Anti-corruption Code for Players and Player Support Personnel which came into force on October 6 last year after it was updated and approved by all ICC member nations.
Under the Code, the suspended players cannot play any cricket.
They will also be prevented from participating or being involved in any "other kind of function, event or activity (other than authorised anti-corruption education or rehabilitation programmes) that is authorised, organised, sanctioned, recognised or supported in any way by the ICC, a national cricket federation or any member of a national cricket federation."
First Published: Sep 03, 2010 23:29 IST