x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat: Let this serve as a warning

The players now face potential jail sentences, and ICC say the verdict will not have an impact on the suspensions.

Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, gave a news conference at its Dubai headquarters last night.
Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, gave a news conference at its Dubai headquarters last night.

DUBAI // The International Cricket Council (ICC) has said that the court verdict in the corruption case against three Pakistani players should serve as a "further warning" for cricketers who may be tempted to engage in corrupt practices.

In a prepared statement read out by Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, in Dubai, cricket's governing body also said that the guilty verdicts against Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif and the guilty plea of Mohammad Amir would have no impact on the five-year bans already handed out to the trio by the ICC after its own hearing in Doha, Qatar earlier this year.

"These outcomes appear to be consistent with the findings of the independent anti-corruption tribunal which was appointed earlier this year to hear charges," said Lorgat. "To be clear, the developments in the English criminal courts will have no impact upon those periods of suspension, which will remain in full force and effect."

The players now face potential jail sentences as Justice Cooke at the Southwark Crown Court in London prepares to sentence them. It is expected that the sentencing will come today.

"We hope that this verdict is seen as a further warning to any individual who might, for whatever reason, be tempted to engage in corrupt activity," Lorgat said.

Butt and Asif were found guilty of four charges by a 12-man jury of conspiracy to cheat during the Lord's Test in August 2010, and also of accepting corrupt payments, by arranging to bowl deliberate, pre-planned no-balls during the Test. The jury reached a combination of unanimous and majority verdicts after a month-long trial.

There was no further comment from the ICC, however, about reports that two more Pakistan players may be the subject of renewed investigations by its Anti-corruption and Security Unit (ACSU). It is understood that the ACSU and Scotland Yard have been in contact throughout the trial as further evidence has emerged.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) made no official statement on the outcome.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) welcomed the verdicts. "All I want to say that this is cheating pure and simple," Matt Horne of the CPS said. "They let down everyone that bought a ticket and they let down children when they were role models to those very children who are playing such a special game."

It was also revealed, finally, that Amir had pleaded guilty to the same two charges to the court before the trial began. He will now appear in front of Justice Cooke today, though there will be no jury present.

osamiuddin@thenational.ae