Games & Sports

Treated Well!

A historic verdict indeed. The sort which changes the game altogether. The decision appears to be a harsh one; it might be, but then again we all agree the three of them brought the game into disrepute, the type which is unparalleled in the history of sport.

As I had pointed out in my previous post on this issue, Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif should have been made an example for others to follow and learn. The International Cricket Council (ICC) made sure it does exactly that. Corruption from cricket might never be eliminated completely, but after this landmark decision, players would not even dream of getting involved in any such practices in future.

The ICC has punished the trio under the newly drafted Anti-Corruption Code for Players and Player Support Personnel. Head of the tribunal hearing the cases of the trio, Michael Beloff was of the opinion that he wanted to punish them for less, but could not do so since the rules didn’t allow him to. He also suggested the ICC to look upon this shortcoming in the Code.

Gives us plenty to ponder about. The watchdog of a multi-million-dollar sport did not know about the limitations of the Code until this point. They banned the three of them for at least 5 years each and then said that they could not help it. Brilliant! What I fear is that the ICC might change the law at some point in future, but these three will not benefit from it in any way whatsoever.

ICC’s pathetic role in handling such matters is not a new one. It’s always the cricket boards who are taking steps on their own to handle matters related to corruption in the game. Hansie Cronje, Ajay Jadeja, Mohammad Azharuddin, Mark Waugh, Ata-ur-Rehman and Salim Malik were all banned by their respective boards, the ICC didn’t do anything in their cases.

However, Butt, Asif and Amir have an option of appealing against the verdict in the Tribunal Arbitral du Sport (TAS) or commonly known as the Court of Arbitration for Sports. But one wonders how much of an impact that is going to make. Especially when the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) does not seem to support the trio at all.

Many former cricketers and analysts feel this punishment is a bit too harsh, since the ICC has treated it the same as of a match-fixing one. Arguments can be made all day about that, but one thing is for sure, this is the first step by the ICC in cleaning cricket from such corrupt people. And as they say, it’s better late than never. ­

Courtesy: Qasim Javed Blogspot

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Qasim Javed Butt

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