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Pakistan trio banned by cricket's anti-corruption body

From left: Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were found guilty of spot-fixing charges on Saturday.
From left: Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were found guilty of spot-fixing charges on Saturday.
  • Former captain Salman Butt banned along with Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir
  • Pakistani cricketers found guilty of "spot-fixing" during Test series in England
  • Asif and Amir said to have deliberately bowled no-bowls under instruction from agent
  • The tribunal said that Butt was aware of this illegal arrangement

(CNN) -- Three Pakistan international cricketers have been banned from the sport for the next five years after being found guilty at an anti-corruption hearing on Saturday.

Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were found to have been involved in "spot-fixing" -- a practice involving illegal gambling during matches.

Butt, 26, was banned for 10 years with half of that suspended on certain conditions while Asif, 28, received a seven-year ban with 24 months suspended.

Amir, 18, was given a straight five-year penalty for his involvement in incidents during the Test series against England in August 2010.

They have 21 days to appeal in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The tribunal found that the charges ... were proved
--Statement on ICC website

The International Cricket Council announced the punishments following an independent tribunal's hearing in Qatar.

It came a day after Britain's Crown Prosecution Service charged the trio and their agent Mazhar Majeed with conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments, and conspiracy to cheat.

Amir and Asif were accused of deliberately bowling no-balls -- deliveries which incur a scoring penalty and cannot dismiss batsmen -- to the instructions of Majeed, who received money from a third party, while Butt was said to be aware of the arrangement.

The conditions of the reduced sentences require Butt and Asif to refrain from further breaches of the anti-corruption code and to participate in an education program run by the Pakistan Cricket Board.

Pakistan trio to face criminal charges

The independent tribunal resumed its hearing on Saturday after adjourning on January 11.

It dismissed a charge that Butt had agreed to bat out a run-less (or "maiden")over in the match played at London's Oval ground from August 18-21, but said the player failed to disclose to the ICC's anti-corruption unit that Majeed had approached him with such a request.

The main charges stem from the following match at Lord's, the final Test of the series.

"The tribunal found that the charges under Article 2.1.1 of the Code that (respectively) Mr Asif agreed to bowl, and did bowl, a deliberate no-ball in the Lord's Test match played between Pakistan and England from 26 to 29 August 2010, Mr Amir agreed to bowl, and did bowl, two deliberate no-balls in the same Test, and Mr Butt was party to the bowling of those deliberate no-balls, were proved," it said in a statement on the ICC website on Saturday.

Amir is the youngest bowler to claim 50 Test wickets, six of which came at Lord's as Pakistan lost to England by an innings and 225 runs.

Butt has played in 33 Test matches since making his debut for Pakistan in 2003, and scored 1,889 runs. He became captain of the side in 2010 and led his country in a Test series against Australia as well as the tour of England before being replaced by Misbah-ul-Haq in the wake of the scandal.

Asif has twice tested positive for steroids, resulting in year-long bans, and in 2008 was detained for three weeks after being found in possession of illegal substances at Dubai airport.