x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

ICC sets trial date for match-fixing accused

The hearing will be held from January 6-11 in Doha to accommodate Mohammad Asif, one of the accused who has been banned from entering the UAE.

The International Cricket Council have formed a three-man anti-corruption tribunal which will hear the case of three Pakistani players allegedly involved in spot-fixing.

The hearing will be held from January 6-11 in Doha, and not at the ICC headquarters in Dubai, because one of the protagonists, Mohammad Asif, has been banned from entering the UAE. Asif was deported in 2008 on possession of banned drugs and according to the immigration laws, he cannot enter the country unless revoked.

The fast bowler along with former Test captain Salman Butt and Mohammad Aamer face charges of being involved in betting after a middleman was caught on camera in a sting operation by a tabloid during the tour of England last month. They have been suspended from international play since September 2.

"The International Cricket Council (ICC) can confirm that, Michael Beloff QC, formally appointed an independent Anti-Corruption tribunal to determine the alleged breaches of the ICC's Anti-Corruption Code by three Pakistan players," the ICC said in a statement.

The tribunal will be made up of Beloff (as Chairman), together with two other Code of Conduct Commissioners - Justice Albie Sachs from South Africa and Sharad Rao from Kenya - as per the appointment procedure described in the ICC's Anti-Corruption Code.

Salman and Aamer have accused the ICC of delaying the verdict on the case last month after their appeal to remove the suspension was dismissed. Asif was also party to that appeal but withdrew later.

The scandal broke after a report by The News of the World prompted Scotland Yard to launch an investigation into allegations of spot-fixing during the Lord's Test against England in August.

Police raided the team's hotel in London and questioned Salman, Aamer, Asif and bowler Wahab Riaz, but they have yet to level any charges. 

Last month Pakistan Cricket Board barred the three players from using practice facilities at the national cricket academy in Lahore before suspending their central contracts.

* Agencies