ICC''s verdict delay evokes mixed reaction in Pakistan

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Karachi, Jan 11 (PTI) The International Cricket Council''sdecision to hold a further hearing on the spot-fixing row nextmonth in Doha has evoked mixed reactions from the cricketcommunity here, with former Pakistan captains terming thewhole process as "complex".

ICC''s three-member independent anti-corruption tribunalhearing allegations against tainted cricketers Salman Butt,Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer reached no decision today anddecided to continue its deliberations and hold a furtherhearing in Doha on February 5.

The trio were charged of spot-fixing during Pakistan''stour of England last year. It is alleged that playersconspired in bowling deliberate no-balls during a Test atLord''s, a claim which they all deny.

Former Pakistan skipper Zaheer Abbas said he had failedto understand why the tribunal had delayed its verdict evenafter six days of deliberations.

"It is not fair as the players remain suspended andspend more time agonising over what is going to happen tothem," Abbas said.

"Obviously, something is fishy (with the process) andsome evidence would have been discussed at the hearing. It''sall complex. But perhaps they require time to deliberate onthe length of punishments to be awarded to the players," headded.

Former World Cup winning captain Imran Khan said it wasgood that, for the first time, the ICC was taking match-fixingissue seriously.

"My only contention is that the board should have takenaction against these players when the allegations firstsurfaced. They shouldn''t have waited for the ICC to suspendthem which spoilt our image," he said.

Imran said if the players come out clean of spot-fixingcharges, they should sue the British tabloid ''News of theWorld'' for damages.

"If they are guilty, then the tribunal must give themexemplary punishment," the former skipper added. .

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