x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Salman Butt, the former Pakistan captain, hopes for a reduction in his ban

Pakistan's disgraced former captain Salman Butt hopes a possible amendment to the International Cricket Council's code of conduct could see a reduction to his five-year ban.

Mohammad Aamer, centre, is planning to appeal. KM Chaudary / AP Photo
Mohammad Aamer, centre, is planning to appeal. KM Chaudary / AP Photo

Salman Butt, Pakistan's disgraced former captain, hopes a possible amendment to the International Cricket Council (ICC) code of conduct could see a reduction to his five-year ban from the sport.

"The judge has said there is a need to amend the law which is a good thing," Butt told reporters on his return from Doha yesterday.

Butt, 26, and the fast bowlers Mohammad Asif, 28, and Mohammad Aamer, 18, were found guilty of corruption at an ICC tribunal in Doha after allegations they bowled no-balls at pre-arranged times during the fourth Test against England at Lord's in August.

Butt was given a 10-year ban with five years suspended, Asif a seven-year ban with two suspended, while Aamer was banned for five years.

Michael Beloff, the ICC tribunal's head, has recommended changes to the ICC code of conduct "with a view to providing flexibility in relation to minimum sentences in exceptional circumstances".

"We are disappointed with the decision, we don't agree with it," Butt said.

The three players have 21 days to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.

"As soon as [the ICC code of conduct] is amended [my suspension] could be reduced," Butt said. "And we can go to the court of arbitration, so there is still hope."

Aamer's lawyer has already said the bowler will appeal against the suspension.

Shaharyar Khan, the former chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, said the bans were too light, calling the suspensions a "concessional decision" from the ICC.

"It's a very shameful thing for Pakistan cricket that three of our players are found guilty," Khan said. "I thought at least two [Asif and Butt] might get life bans and the third one [Aamer] would get a lesser punishment."

Britain's Crown Prosecution Service said on Friday the three players and their agent, Mazhar Majeed, will face criminal charges in that country, summoning them on charges of conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments and conspiracy to cheat.

Majeed is due to appear for an initial hearing at London's City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on March 17.

Khan said the lawyers representing the three players should now sit together and prepare for next month's case. "I believe they have to make a joint strategy as it's a very serious case," he said.