Stern action will follow if players found guilty

Aijaz Jakhrani, Babar Awan and ICC have said that stern action will be taken if charges against player are proven.


Atika Rehman August 31, 2010

Federal Minister for Sports Aijaz Jakhrani has said that stern action would be taken against national cricketers if they are found guilty of spot-fixing.

Talking to Express 24/7, Jakhrani said that an investigation into allegations of the betting scam is underway, and it's too early to say anything. He said that no charges have been pressed against any player yet.

The minister said that the Pakistani High Commission in London has helped arranged a lawyer for the players.

Federal Minister for Law and Justice Babar Awan on Tuesday said that if any player is found guilty of spot-fixing, he will face criminal charges under section 406 and 409 of Pakistan's Penal Code.

Speaking to media in Islamabad, Awan said allegations of match-fixing have tarnished Pakistan's image internationally.

He said the Ministry of Law is ready to assist the Ministry of Sports in taking legal action against guilty players.

Exemplary punishments and possible loopholes

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday vowed to take swift action if betting scam allegations against Pakistan were proven as damaging claims threatened the sport's credibility.

ICC said corruption would not be tolerated and anyone found guilty of "spot-fixing" would be punished as the allegations of bowling pre-arranged no-balls engulfed top Pakistan players.

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said that they were conducting their own inquiry and would take action against any guilty players.

The ICC had a "zero-tolerance approach to corruption in cricket", he said in a statement Monday.

"The integrity of the game is of paramount importance. "Prompt and decisive action will be taken against those who seek to harm it."

"We will not tolerate corruption in this great game."

The South African told BBC radio that he wanted anyone found guilty of corruption to be "taken out" of the sport.

"It is also appropriate that the game continues," he added. "The vast majority of players are not guilty of any such behaviour. "We shouldn't let a couple of individuals, a few players, bring the entire game to a standstill."

Yahoo! Eurosport UK article states that the ICC's anti-corruption code, which lays out a very specific procedure that must be followed in the case of spot or match-fixing, leaves scope for leniency depending on the situation.

Any allegations must first be referred to the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit's (ACSU) general manager for investigation.

If he, in consultation with the ICC's CEO and legal head, determines there is a case, the player will be sent a notice.

If the player chooses to deny the allegations and requests a hearing in writing, the ICC will refer the case to the chairman of the code of conduct commission, who will appoint three members from the commission to form an anti-corruption tribunal to hear the case.

If the player has been found guilty by a court of law, the ICC has the right to take the court's judgement into account.

The code, which came into effect on October 9, 2009, stipulates a maximum punishment of a life ban for anyone found guilty of corruption, with the minimum punishment being a five-year ban.

It also decrees that the ICC must first "determine the relative seriousness of the offence, including identifying all relevant factors that it deems to mitigate (or aggravate) the nature of the offence." While the police investigation is in a preliminary stage and there is a lot of work to be done before the allegations can be proved or disproved, two of the mitigating factors listed by the ICC appear to relate directly to Mohammad Amir, the young Pakistan fast bowler who has thrilled fans all summer with his ability to run through batting line-ups.

The first is the player's age or lack of experience at the international level and the second is whether the offence "did not affect (or have the potential to affect) the result of the relevant International match(es) or ICC event(s).

Amir turned 18 in April this year and his apparent collusion to bowl a no-ball would have had little impact on a Test Pakistan lost by an innings and 225 runs.

Amir was also not part of the Sydney Test against Australia earlier this year, which has been investigated by the ACSU and been implicated by Mazhar Majeed, the property dealer at the center of the controversy.

Other factors to be considered include the player's previous disciplinary record, any admission of guilt and anything else the ICC thinks is a mitigating factor.

Factors that could influence the tribunal to issue a harsher punishment include a lack of remorse on the part of the player, a history of transgressions and whether the amount of the money received by the player was substantial.

Actions that affect the outcome of the match are to be judged more harshly than those that do not.

Cricinfo report states that former Pakistan captain Imran Khan has said he is concerned about the long-term repercussions the match-fixing crisis could have on the country's cricketing establishment but feels it is a chance for the authorities to act in a manner that would discourage future cricketers from considering such activities.

"If they are proved, not just in terms of the best players in the team being implicated but from the public point of view, they would not understand the finer points of the game and each time they lose they will think it's a fixed match," Imran told Britain's ITVchannel.

COMMENTS (3)

Maitre | 11 years ago | Reply Two T20 are gone. No good news. The same fate is reserved for the ODI's as the team morale is at the lowest. Salman Butt is the main culprit because he failed to handle such high profile position entrusted to him. Consequently, the whole winning momentum (against Australia and England) was reduced to zero. It takes lot of time to infuse spirit, moral and winning combination in a team, but it takes minutes to lose it. When I saw them on the third days at Lord's test match, they all looked pale which reflected their psychological state under pressure. Besides, Allah does not encourage dishonesty; be it of any kind and in any rank.
Asfandyar | 11 years ago | Reply Don't worry inshallah they will come out of it its global conspiracy against pak... Hope for best and better inshallah we gonna rock in odis and t20 matches.
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