Pakistan’s high commissioner to the UK Wajid Shamsul Hasan has hit out at the International Cricket Council’s decision to suspend Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir.
The game’s governing body has charged the Pakistan trio with “various offences” under Article 2 of the their Anti-Corruption Code for Players and Player Support Personnel, following a News of the World report on Sunday.
The newspaper claimed journalists posing as Far Eastern businessmen paid a middleman £150,000 to arrange for Pakistan players to deliberately bowl no-balls in last week’s fourth Test against England.
Butt, Asif and Amir had already stepped down from the remainder of the tour of England as they seek to clear their names, but they have now been immediately barred from participating in all cricket and related activities until the case has been concluded.
Hasan, however, has condemned the decision to suspend the players before a police investigation has been concluded and has accused the ICC of playing to the public gallery.
“The ICC has done the wrong thing because when there is a live police inquiry this takes precedence,” said Hasan.
“The ICC made a mistake. It gave assurances nothing would be done until Scotland Yard had completed its investigation. The ICC has done this without conducting an investigation.
“To take action now is of course unhelpful, premature and unnecessary considering the players had already voluntarily withdrawn from playing, which was announced earlier in the morning [on Thursday] in the presence of the entire British media.”