"This is Pakistan being cornered.”

Thats the opinion of Salman Butt about ICC after his and Mohammad Amir’s bans were upheld at a hearing in Dubai last weekend.

This wasn’t their actual hearing into match-fixing, it was an attempt by the players to get their suspensions lifted while the investigations into the alledged match-fixing continues.

They have every right to do this, but surely they would have been doing the game of cricket a favour by just letting the investigation take place without any added interference or unwelcome attention.

Butt is also quoted as saying “They listened to us but it felt as if their decision had already been made from before. It was not based on a single piece of evidence. After a 12-hour hearing the only so-called evidence they had was the same News Of The World article and the same video everyone has seen.”

Amir also criticized ICC, saying, “To me it appeared as if this is a conspiracy to defame Pakistan cricket. I am hurt and sad because we want the truth to come out.” That sounds more like the sort of language we would normally get from Ijaz Butt.

Salman Butt’s comments give an indication to the probable make up of the main basis on which his defence will be built. He is basically saying ‘Where is the real evidence?’ It gives the impression that his lawyers have told him that the NOTW video isn’t the strongest or most reliable evidence to build a successful case on.

This is probably why the players are being so brash and confident in their public declarations of innocence. Like in the John Higgins’ match-fixing case in Snooker, it is very hard to prove guilt.

Also, is the NOTW evidence good enough for the Crown Prosecution to get a conviction in the UK? Or have the Police gathered more evidence?

If the answer to these questions in No, then the 3 players must think that they have a great chance of getting off with ICC as well. If the evidence isn’t good enough to find them guilty in a Court of Law, then how can ICC find them guilty?

The answer to that is that ICC’s criteria for a guilty verdict probably isn’t as stringent as a UK Court of Law’s is. Although a ‘Not Guilty’ in UK law, against a ‘Guilty’ verdict from ICC would surely lead to a legal appeal by the 3 players.

Although, again referring back to the John Higgens’ case, there is always the option to fudge the whole thing and hit them with a convenient lesser charge, should the evidence not be strong enough for the match-fixing charge to hold up.

This is where I can see problems ahead for ICC, they really need the British Police to unearth some new damning evidence.

Unfortunately, I don’t expect this sorry episode to be resolved anytime soon!

2 thoughts on “"This is Pakistan being cornered.”

  1. Some people just have no remorse. Maybe Butt’s going by the old adage that if you say something enough times then people will start to believe it. I certainly hope Amir stops following Butt’s way of operating as when they are proved guilty in the end, it will be even more shameful and they will look even more criminal.

    I don’t think the CPS will prosecute as there had to have been a bet placed on what the three did for it to be a crime. I’m not sure there was. But, this should not effect the ICC’s investigation. The ICC just need proof that they acted on Majeed’s instructions and didn’t play honestly and to their best ability and that’s enough.

    I do hope they are not let off like Higgins was.

  2. Hi SA,

    I also can’t see CPS prosecuting them.

    Whether that be because there isn’t enough evidence, or because a crime wasn’t committed because (maybe) no bet was placed, I don’t know.

    Also, I’m not sure if a bet would have to be placed for it to be a crime. Could it not be the crime was ‘conspiracy to defraud bookmakers’, which probably wouldn’t need a bet to be placed.

    Anyway, if there is a bookie anywhere who is prepared to take a bet on the 6th ball of the 10th over being a no-ball, I would be amazed. I just can’t see it.

    I suppose my main point though is ‘will ICC bottle it if the CPS can’t find them guilty’? I get the feeling ICC will be hoping that the CPS do their jobs for them, which is wrong.

    As you said, surely ICC just need proof that the players acted on Majeed’s instructions. So CPS should be irrelevant to the cricket case.

    I see that the PCB have now suspended the players contracts. They seem to be really trying to show the cricket world that they are taking it all very serious now.

    And yes I agree, Higgins was let off.

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