Spot fixing: Pak envoy slams ICC for suspending players facing police probe

     Pakistan's High Commissioner to Britain has attacked the International Cricket Council (ICC) for suspending three Pakistan cricket team players, who are at the center of spot-fixing allegations. High Commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hasan said that the suspension of cricketers Mohammad Amir, Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif exposed the ICC's "playing to the public gallery", and said the council had "no business" taking action while a police investigation was on. Speaking on Radio 4's Today programme, Hasan said: "They (the ICC) have done the wrong thing. When there's a live police inquiry, this takes precedence over both the ICC, civil or regulatory investigations and any disciplinary investigations. To take action now is unhelpful, premature and unnecessary considering the players had already voluntarily withdrawn from playing. The ICC had no business to take this action. The ICC is just playing to the public gallery." Test captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir have been charged with multiple breaches of the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption rules and suspended from all cricket with immediate effect. The three cricketers became the first players to be suspended under new ICC rules intended to protect the integrity of the game. If found guilty, they face lengthy expulsion from the game, with ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat warning that life bans could result. They could face even stiffer action as the result of the ongoing criminal inquiry, which will accelerate on Friday when Scotland Yard detectives would interview the trio under caution. The players have protested their innocence, but are currently being viewed as suspects in the alleged conspiracy. They are not expected to be arrested however, and have agreed to attend the interviews voluntarily. According to The Telegraph, the ICC had initially indicated that it would not act until the police had interviewed the players, but having examined some of the evidence already gathered against the three, and been assured that disciplinary action would not prejudice the police inquiry, they cleared the way for ICC charges to be levelled. Sir Ronnie Flanagan, the chairman of the ACSU, was also involved in the discussions.

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