Spot-fixing hearing begins, Pakistani trio’s careers on the line

A special tribunal from the International Cricket Council opened hearings Thursday on the appeals of three Pakistan players accused of spot fixing and facing possible life bans if found guilty.

The three suspended players - who have previously declared their innocence - made no comments as they entered the hearing room in Qatar’s capital Doha. But a member of the three—person panel overseeing the proceedings said the credibility of the sport is at stake.

“This is an important hearing for the future of cricket,” said Sharad Rao, a former acting attorney general in Kenya, adding that it’s critical the sport’s image is “very clean where we can rely on the results.”

Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif are alleged to have accepted payment for bowling no—balls at prearranged times in a test against England to fix spot betting markets.

The Dubai-based ICC, which has described the allegations as the sport’s biggest fixing scandal in decades, charged the trio with corruption in September after a British tabloid, the News of the World, alleged the players received payments from businessman Mazhar Majeed.

Hidden camera footage appeared to show Majeed, who was arrested, accepting 150,000 pounds ($241,000) from reporters posing as front men for a Far East gambling cartel.

The hearings in Doha could last until next week.

Pakistan’s cricket team, meanwhile, is scheduled to open a two—test series Friday in New Zealand. Pakistan recently drew a two—test series 0—0 with No. 2 South Africa.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2020 9:05:11 PM |

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