Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
At an International Cricket Council (ICC) board meeting yesterday, the ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) allowed Mohammad Amir (pictured) to return to domestic cricket, before his five-year ban for charges relating to ‘spot-fixing’ expires on 2 September. ‘The ACSU Chairman [Sir Ronnie Flanagan] had exercised the powers vested in him under Article 6.8 of the ICC Anti-Corruption Code after he was satisfied that Amir had cooperated with the ACSU by fully disclosing his part in the matters that led to his disqualification, admitting his guilt, showing remorse and cooperating with the Unit’s ongoing investigations and by recording messages for the ACSU education sessions’, read an ICC statement.
Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Amir were banned in 2011 by the ICC for their roles in spot-fixing during the England vs. Pakistan Lord’s Test in August 2010. Butt, which the ICC said had orchestrated the plot to deliberately bowl no-balls, was banned for ten years, while Asif and Amir were banned for five. Butt and Asif lost appeals against their ICC bans at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in 2013. Amir chose not to appeal.
However, both Amir and Butt lost appeals against their conviction for conspiracy to to cheat and accept corrupt payments under British law in 2011. Using Section 1 (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977, the cricketers were convicted under both the 1906 Prevention of Corruption Act and section 42 of the Gambling Act 2005, representing the first time that anyone has been convicted for the criminal offence of ‘cheating at gambling’ in Great Britain. After admitting the charges, Amir spent three months in a Dorset Young Offenders Institution and was released in February 2012, half way through his six-month sentence.
Article 6.8 of the ICC Anti-Corruption Code allows the ACSU Chairman to permit a banned player to return to domestic cricket, with the prior approval of his national association. The ICC said that it had received prior approval from the Pakistan Cricket Board for Amir’s return.
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