Imran Khan expresses mixed reaction on ICC verdict

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Dwayne Johnson

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  • Imran Khan expresses mixed reaction on ICC verdict

Imran Khan undecided on ICC verdict

Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan has expressed mixed reaction on the ICC anti-corruption tribunal’s verdict imposing a ban on Pakistani international cricketers Mohammad Asif, Salman Butt and Mohammad Amir in the spot-fixing case.

The players were charged with spot-fixing during the England series at Lords in August 2010. Butt, Asif and Amir were penalised for ten, seven and five years respectively. Imran was of the view that the ban on these players was quite alarming, as the trio hold an important position in the Pakistan cricket team. According to him, they are the key players of the team with excellent talent and skills. The ban on such great players, at this point when the ICC World Cup is near, would be a huge blow for the team, he said.

Khan observed, "I feel sad for all three of these kids, two just over 20 and one just 18. I feel for their families because they are key players. This is a loss of Pakistan cricket. The move should be a lesson not only for the cricketers in Pakistan but also for the players of the world. I sincerely hope that the ICC has set an example with this verdict. This will serve as a clean-up, not only in Pakistan but also in the world cricket."

On the contrary, he added that since they had failed to prove themselves innocent, it was compulsory to take them to task, as this will be the first step towards clean cricket.

He expressed his sadness for Amir, who was probably the new talent in the team with some great bowling skills. His fast bowling was a bonus for the team, he said and maintained that his cricket career had been ruined.

Talking about Asif, Imran observed that Asif was one of the best new ball bowlers and Butt was a solid opener. So with these three key players Pakistan would have done very well in the ICC World Cup but that would not happen, he said.

Imran Khan, who holds the honour of winning the 1992 World Cup trophy for Pakistan, stated that the loss of such players would reduce Pakistan’s chances to win the World Cup which would start on February 19.

Khan said that the ICC had been criticised for not being lenient with these three players. He argued that the sentence for both match and spot-fixing was similar according to the ICC law. On the other side, Tribunal head Michael Beloff also stated that he himself wanted to reduce the sentence given to the trio, but could not do so under the current situation.

 Imran further noted that the spot-fixing scandal shocked the nation. He added, "It was great humiliation for the people of Pakistan as the ignominy the scandal brought made the people more demoralised than they were by the disastrous floods in the country. But yet it will be a lesson for every sportsman to avoid such violations in the days to come.”