DUBAI: The code of conduct commissioner of the International Cricket Council (ICC), Michael Beloff, on Sunday rejected the appeals of Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt and Mohammad Aamir against suspensions for spot-fixing.
Beloff announced the decision after a two-day hearing which started early Saturday, saying the players will have to appear before another tribunal to further their cases. "Salman (Butt) and (Mohammad) Aamir had appealed against the suspension imposed on them by the ICC on September 2 for various breaches of the code of conduct.
"Having considered every aspect of the case I dismiss their appeals and they remain suspended," Beloff told reporters outside the ICC headquarters
The two players remain suspended and it is unlikely that they will play in the ongoing Pakistan- South Africa series.
Sports analyst Chishti Mujahid clarified that the case was not an appeal but was a review of an ICC clause that led to the suspension of the players. Talking to Express 24/7, Mujahid said although Michael Beloff is a "good lawyer" he said " (Beloff) being an ICC man sitting in a judgement of their own cause, I suppose it was already a decided case."
Mujahid added that fingers should not be pointed at the players and discussion should be about the merits of the case.
Sports analyst Dr Nauman Niaz speaking on Express 24/7 about the ICC's decision said that it is ironic that the ICC is relying on News of the World reports to suspend cricketers and it was the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) job to support Pakistan's players.
"ICC is biased and is out to make an example of our players to show the world that they mean business."
Talkingto Express 24/7, former chairman of the PCB Tauqir Zia said it is possible that Salman Butt will get a more serious punishment than Mohammad Aamir as he has played for nearlt 11 years. He added that Aamir is a youngster and may be given a a warning or a fine.
The two, along with fast bowler Mohammad Asif, were provisionally suspended by the Iinternational Cricket Council (ICC) over allegations they were involved in spot-fixing during Pakistan's summer tour of England.
All three appealed, but Asif later withdrew his application. The two cricketers arrived with their lawyers - Salman with Khalid Ranjha, a former law minister, and Aftab Gul, a former Pakistan player, and Aamir with his lawyer Shahid Karim.
Both Salman and Aamir on Saturday, wearing casual shirts and trousers, waved to the media but did not speak as they entered the ICC headquarters.
The scandal broke after a report by British tabloid The News of the World prompted Scotland Yard to launch an investigation into allegations of spot-fixing during the Lord's Test against England in August.
Police raided the team's hotel in London and questioned Salman, Aamir, Asif and bowler Wahab Riaz, but they have yet to formally level any charges.
Owing to their suspensions, the trio have been excluded from Pakistan's current tour of the United Arab Emirates, where they are playing South Africa.
Michael Beloff QC, chairman of the ICC's code of conduct commission, will hear the appeal against the provisional suspensions and has the power to overturn them. The hearing will continue on Sunday. Salman and Aamir have vowed to clear their names.
"I am confident that I will be cleared and will be available to play for Pakistan soon. We have committed no mistake and the sting operation of the News of the World has flaws," Salman told AFP last week.
According to the ICC process, the matter of the players' code of conduct violation will not be heard during the current hearing. The ICC code stipulates a minimum five year ban if charges of corruption are proved.
The commission is expected to announce a decision on the players' appeals toda (Sunday) in a ruling that can not be further challenged.
Salman's lawyer Gul Friday said he expected a fair hearing. "We are going for justice in their court," said Gul, who played six Tests for Pakistan between 1969-71.
"We can't pre-empt what decision they give, it's their discretion, but our case is very good. There is no strong evidence against Salman on the basis of which we can say that he should remain suspended."
Pakistan Cricket Board said the players will be readily available if their provisional suspension is lifted.
With additional input from AFP.