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Former Cricketer Urges Accused to Go to Court

In this photograph taken on September 1, 2010, Pakistan cricketers Mohammad Amir, (L) Mohammad Asif (Back C) and captain Salman Butt (R) leave the team hotel in Taunton, in south-west England

Former Pakistani cricket test bowler Sarfraz Nawaz is urging his countrymen accused of spot-fixing in matches to take their cases to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Last Sunday, the International Cricket Council (ICC) upheld the provisional suspensions of Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt and Mohammad Amir during an investigation into a betting scandal.

Butt and Amir accused the ICC of not listening to their appeals. ICC code of conduct commission head Michael Beloff, who heard their appeals, will now form a three-member anti-corruption tribunal.

Nawaz said "the players should have directly gone to the tribunal instead of going through this appeal process."

Butt had said that the code of conduct commission's decision was not based on a "single piece of evidence" against them.

Nawaz thinks the only place where Butt and Amir might have some hope is in the CAS and he said he is "more than willing to help them in preparing their case." Otherwise he does not believe they will be able to play in next year's cricket World Cup.

Nawaz, who took 177 wickets in 55 test matches and was regarded as pioneer of reverse swing, criticized the ICC for not reacting in time to curb match-fixing in the past decade.

Along with fellow-Pakistani Mohammad Asif, Butt and Amir were suspended in September after a British tabloid alleged they were involved in spot-fixing in a Test match against England at Lord's in London in August. Asif decided not to challenge his suspension.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.