Accused trio unlikely to face charges

Officials close to HC have confirmed that the trio will not face charges to avoid deterioration of UK-Pakistan ties.


Faras Ghani September 03, 2010

KARACHI: While Salman Butt, Mohammed Asif and Mohammed Aamir were ‘dropped’ from Pakistan’s squad for the remainder of the tour, officials close to the High Commission have confirmed to The Express Tribune that the trio will not face any charges in order to avoid a deterioration of the UK-Pakistan ties.

The trio’s omission, reported to have come courtesy pressure from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) as well as the International Cricket Council (ICC) and also seen as a compromise between all parties, came yesterday morning when the Pakistani players visited London.

“Mazhar Majeed’s release on bail without any charge was quite surprising given the way he was arrested and then re-arrested,” the  official told The Express Tribune. “The trio’s omission from the limited-overs squad is a compromise reached between the two boards and the three cricketers will walk away free too.”

The trio travelled down to London from Taunton for discussions and meetings with the PCB chairman as well as the Pakistan’s high commissioner to the UK, Wajid Shamsul Hasan. While the players or the board refrained from making comments, Hasan declared them innocent – before questionning the authenticity of the video – the first time they have been backed by the quarters since the allegations surfaced late Saturday evening.

Players ‘extremely disturbed’

“They are extremely disturbed with what has happened in the past one week, especially with regard to their alleged involvement in the crime,” said Hasan. “They have mentioned that they are innocent of the whole episode and shall defend their innocence as such.

“They maintain that on account of the mental torture that has deeply affected them, they’re not in the right frame of mind to play, therefore they have requested the PCB not to consider them until their names are cleared.”

Lack of communication

In what seems to be yet another episode of lack of communication among various Pakistan team quarters, team manager Yawar Saeed said the trio had been dropped and replacements will be considered. However, Hasan’s words echoed the notion that Salman, Asif and Aamir had opted out of the series due to the strain they were put under by the spot-fixing allegations.

“The three players are innocent until proven guilty. They are under interrogation so they have to defend themselves. They are bright young men, one of them has just broken a world record, and we will go to a court of law to defend them.”

Asked whether he believed the players may have been framed, he replied, “Yes, I would say that.”

UNEASY

Former Pakistan captain Asif Iqbal

“The players would definitely not have felt good about this investigation while playing which is the reason why they have been omitted.”

PATIENCE

Former PCB chairman Tauqir Zia

“I think the PCB should have waited for the police inquiry to be completed before taking this decision of dropping the players.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2010.

COMMENTS (12)

Hafeez | 11 years ago | Reply Gentlemen, its nice to see your candid coments on this bizarre incident. I have no second opinion about it that in case found guilty, they must be punished. Its important to root out this menace from the lovely game of cricket. Players, who may ever they be, are not bigger than the game. I have just one observation, whenever a team of Sub Continent visits England, they are embroiled into some kind of controversies. If the team starts wining the controversy is even stronger. A tabloid whoes credibility is doubtful even in UK, has created a situation unwaranted to the spirit of the game. Imagine a news channel of Sub Continent exposing an English team during their visit, the spirit of treating the guests well, may result in a negative impression about the channel from within the country???? Think about it!!!
Assad | 11 years ago | Reply I think a lot of people are merely venting there anger and frustration at the teams poor performance and hence want the trio of asif, amir and butt lynched. On the other side, those who are talking about a conspiracy and India being involved to 'defame' Pakistan, are also subjectively looking at the matter. As far as things stand now, what is painfully obvious is that Amir bowled a no ball on purpose. Not once but twice. Everything else is just speculation. It may very well turn out to be correct, but at this stage its just speculation. And yes, the board is corrupt and inefficient. No doubt.
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