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Banned Asif hopeful after CAS appeal

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Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Asif is hopeful the Court of Arbitration for Sport will ovedrturn his ban for spot-fixing. Photo by: Denis Balibouse

Lausanne – Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Asif is hopeful the Court of Arbitration for Sport will ovedrturn his ban for spot-fixing in one of the biggest cricket scandals in years, he said on Thursday.

“Today was quite busy,” Asif told AFP after the end of a day-long hearing behind closed doors at the CAS's Swiss headquarters. “They will give us their decision in the next three weeks.”

He added: “Hopefully I am going to win this case. I'd like to play cricket again.”

On Friday, Pakistan captain Salman Butt is due to attend a CAS appeal hearing on his own ban.

Butt, Asif and fellow fast bowler Mohammad Amir were banned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for contriving to bowl deliberate no-balls during the Lord's Test between Pakistan and England in August 2010.

Butt was banned for 10 years, with five suspended, Asif for seven years, with two suspended, and the then teenager Aamer for five years.

The trio were also jailed by a British court over the scandal in November 2011. All three were released last year after completing half of their sentences.

Amir, now 20, decided not to pursue his appeal at the CAS, after pleading guilty to the charges in Britain.

“It's a high-profile case of two world-class players with the whole cricket world focused on it and we will fight to get the ban overturned,” Asif's lawyer Ravi Sukul told AFP from London earlier this week.

“Asif was a terrific bowler and it was terribly unfortunate that a bowler of his class suffered this, but we will try our best to get this ban overturned and Asif is in high spirits.”

Asif, 30, played 23 Tests and 38 one-day internationals and was regarded as one of the best new-ball bowlers in the world.

Butt, 28, was made Test captain on the fateful tour of England, and Amir was regarded as the fastest emerging bowler in the world. – Sapa-AFP


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