LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Asif began his appeal at world sport's highest court on Thursday to overturn his ban for a betting scam fix in a test against England.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport scheduled a day-long hearing for Asif to challenge a seven-year ban imposed by the International Cricket Council in February 2011. CAS said the three-man arbitration panel is expected to give its verdict within several weeks.
Asif and two Pakistan teammates were jailed after being convicted in an English criminal trial of conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments. Asif was found to have deliberately bowled a no-ball at a prearranged time in the August 2010 match.
The scam was discovered by a British tabloid newspaper, which paid a reported 150,000 pounds (then $241,000) to the players' agent in a sting operation. Pakistan's then-captain, Salman Butt, will appeal against his 10-year ban from all cricket at CAS on Friday. Five years of Butt's sanction were deferred by the ICC and Asif had two years suspended.
Asif, now aged 30, served six months of a one-year prison sentence and was released last May. When filing the appeal to CAS, his lawyers said the ICC's ruling was "not only flawed, it could also be unlawful."
"The ICC disciplinary tribunal breached its own procedures, and in other ways infringed fundamental human rights to which Mohammad Asif is entitled," London-based firm SJS Solicitors said last year. Asif's case is being decided by CAS panel members: Canadian lawyer Graeme Mew, Anglo-Belgian Romano Subiotto, and English judge Robert Reid.
Mohammad Amir was the third Pakistan player involved in the conspiracy. Amir was 18 when the match was played, and was banned by the ICC for five years. He served three months of a six-month sentence at a young offenders' institution.