London/Karachi, Feb 5 (IANS): The International Cricket Council on Saturday handed down suspensions to three Pakistan cricketers for their involvement in spot-fixing, sparking demands for the removal of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief.
According to the Guardian, former skipper Salman Butt has been given a 10-year ban, five years of which are suspended. Fast bowler Mohammad Asif has been banned for seven years, two of which are suspended, while left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir has been banned for five years.
The bans came a day after British prosecutors announced the trio would face criminal charges over their part in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal, specifically over their actions in the fourth cricket test against England at Lord's.
The prosecution said the trio, along with the 35-year-old sports agent Mazhar Majeed from Croydon, had been charged with conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments and with conspiracy to cheat.
Ehsan Mani, the ICC president, said that PCB chairman Ijaz Butt should immediately resign as the board was responsible for the sorry episode.
Arif Abbasi, a former CEO of PCB, echoed his demands and said that the cricket board was directly responsible for bringing shame to the country.
"Had the PCB been performing its job, such a tragedy would not have taken place," said Abbasi.
The ban was announced following an anti-corruption hearing in Doha by a three-member tribunal.
The tribunal also recommended some changes in the ICC rule with a view to providing flexibility in relation to minimum sentences in exceptional circumstances.