x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

ICC to convene hearing in 39 days

Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer exercise their right to a preliminary hearing against their suspension over the scandal and have filed responses.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) will convene a preliminary hearing into allegations of spot-fixing against three Pakistan players in 39 days time. Tafazzul Rizvi, the legal adviser to the country's cricket board, told Reuters yesterday that the players, Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer, had exercised their right to a preliminary hearing against their suspension over the scandal and had filed responses.

The players had asked for a hearing to put their point of view, Rizvi said. "The ICC will now convene a hearing in 40 days time." An ICC committee will also recommend a "wide-ranging and, if necessary, independent review" of anti-corruption measures in cricket following the fixing allegations against Pakistan players. Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, said "we must continue to assess and, where necessary, improve our processes".

The committee said it supported the action taken by the ICC. The three players were suspended on September 4 by the ICC for their alleged involvement in spot-fixing during the fourth Test against England at Lord's. "We must continue to assess and, where necessary, improve our processes," Lorgat said. "The recent allegations have reminded everyone of the need to remain vigilant and to ensure public confidence in our sport.

"The ICC's Chief Executive's Committee has wisely recommended a thorough review of all our procedures and protocols and that is something which is already underway. "I am especially keen to engage with governments to consider the regulation of betting and also to consider the accreditation of player representatives or agents. "While the present investigations are ongoing we will not discuss or comment on any specific issues but this incident is a warning for all of us. We must heed those warnings and heed them quickly."

Yawar Saeed, the team manager, said earlier that English police had delayed until today the questioning of a fourth player, fast bowler Wahab Riaz, over the scandal. Riaz was originally summoned by Scotland Yard to appear yesterday but Saeed told Geo super channel the questioning had been delayed by one day. "Wahab will be going on Wednesday [today] as there was some prior commitment he had to deal with first," Saeed said.

London police have already interviewed Butt, Aamer and Asif and the trio have returned to Pakistan but on the condition they would be available for further questioning when required. * Reuters