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    ICC hands Pakistan cricketers long bans


    by ODN

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    Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif have been banned for at least five years after they were found guilty of corruption by an International Cricket Council (ICC) tribunal.

    Michael Beloff, the lawyer who headed the tribunal, announced that Butt, 26, was banned for ten years with five of them suspended.

    Asif, 28, was ruled out for seven years - two of which are suspended - while 18-year-old Amir was banned for five.

    News of the bans came a day after British prosecutors announced the trio would face criminal charges over their part in last year's spot-fixing scandal, specifically over their actions in the fourth cricket test against England at Lord's.

    Britain's Crown Prosecution Service said the trio, along with 35-year-old sports agent Mazhar Majeed from Croydon, England, had been charged with conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments and with conspiracy to cheat.

    The trio have denied spot-fixing, the offence of pre-arranging individual events within a match which may not affect the result.