The former lawyer for Pakistan’s suspended Test captain Salman Butt has predicted that the International Cricket Council (ICC) may hand out long-term bans for Butt and the two other suspended players,Mohammed Aamir and Mohammad Asif at the hearing the anti-corruption tribunal in Doha.
“I think the writing is on the wall for these three players,” Khalid Ranjha said. Ranjha represented Butt in the appeal’s hearing held by the ICC in Dubai in late October where the chairman of ICC code of conduct commission,Michael Beloff rejected the appeals of Butt and Aamir.
“We wanted the ICC not to have Beloff heading the ICC tribunal for the full hearing which will decide on the charges against the three players,” he said.
“Our argument was and still remains how can a person (Beloff) rule against his own decision and that was to reject their appeals two months back now at the full hearing,because the case boils down to the same causes,” Ranjha told the German radio station,Deutshe Welle.
“It does not happen like this in law. That is why,I see the writing on the wall for these three players,” he added.
“I say it openly that the ICC has been biased against our players,” Ranjha said.
He said the ICC anti-corruption unit had no evidence against the players except for the things provided to them by the News of the World tabloid.
“That is why now they are banking on Shahid Afridi and
Waqar Younis to turn witnesses for them at the hearing.”
The seasoned lawyer pointed out that while Afridi and Waqar might be great cricketers but they had raised doubts over their intentions by giving statements to the ICC three months after the players were suspended. “I don’t understand why these players and the security manager of the team waited for so long before giving their statements to the ICC in which they have cast shadows on the three players,” he said and added.
“After such a long period even the evidence of the police is not permissible in any court of law. Ranjha also blamed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for turning against the suspended trio by allowing Waqar and Afridi to appear as witnesses at the full hearing.”
“Even if Waqar and Afridi had not given statements,I don’t think the outcome of the hearing would be any different. But by agreeing to appear as witnesses the two players have also damaged their own reputations.”
The senior lawyer also claimed that the PCB chairman kept on pressurising lawyers representing the players to step aside.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines