Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Pakistan trio must wait to hear fate over fixing claims

The fate of the three Pakistani cricketers facing spot-fixing charges has been delayed until 5 February, Michael Beloff QC, chair of the International Cricket Council's three-man tribunal confirmed in a statement yesterday.

Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer have spent the last six days at an anti-corruption tribunal answering charges relating to allegations of accepting payment for bowling no-balls at pre-arranged times in the fourth Test against England in August at Lord's.

The tribunal came to a conclusion yesterday as both sides gave their closing arguments but Beloff has now confirmed that the verdict and sanctions will be deferred until 5 February.

“The tribunal has throughout been very conscious of the importance of these proceedings to the three players and to the wider world of cricket,” Beloff said in the statement.

“The tribunal has therefore determined to continue its deliberations and will hold a further hearing in Doha on 5 February this year, at which its decisions will be handed down to the parties and any consequential matters will be dealt with.”

Meanwhile, Australia's chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch will not step aside from his post despite mounting criticism against him following their Ashes defeat.

Hilditch, whose contract runs out after the World Cup, revealed yesterday that Cricket Australia would have to make the call to relieve him of his duties rather than walking away himself.

Test wicketkeeper Brad Haddin joined the critics this week when he described his omission from the Twenty20 squad to play England as “odd” while claiming Hilditch had not spoken to him about the reasons for being overlooked behind Tim Paine.

Hilditch denied Haddin's claims yesterday, before defiantly declaring he wanted to keep his job.

“I've still got the same passion for everything I can give to Australian cricket,” he said ahead of today's 20-over cgame against England in Adelaide. “It will be for someone else to tell me when I'm not required.”

Meanwhile, the feelgood factor inside the England team following their Ashes triumph has immediately rubbed off on the new arrivals for the upcoming one-day series against the Aussies according to spinner Michael Yardy.

Yardy is one of six new faces who arrived to join the squad in the immediate wake of the Test team's celebrations after they sealed their historic triumph in Sydney last Friday.

Five of the new arrivals immediately tasted success when they helped the tourists to a convincing seven-wicket win over a Prime Minister's XI in Canberra on Monday, with Yardy claiming three wickets.

“The boys are buzzing, obviously after winning a series like that they are going to be. It's nice to be a part of it,” he said.

“Everyone is really happy and enjoying each other's company.

“There is a lot of love in the group at the moment and whether that bring results or it's the results that bring the team closer together I am not too sure.”